Investigating fire

The Fire Service will meet private insurance company investigators on Tuesday to help determine the cause of a fire which destroyed a Dunedin panelbeating premises earlier this week.

Bodyline Collision Panel and Paint in Wharf St went up in flames on Tuesday, destroying the property and $500,000 worth of vehicles.

The property had a current rateable value of $1.14 million.

A Fire Service spokesman said the business' insurance company was sending its own investigators to assist in the inquiry.

''I'm not sure why there's such a large team but they've decided it will be a collaborative effort between them.''

The spokesman said the fire was not believed to be suspicious.

The building's windows remained blacked out because it was ''not in a good state'' and the scene needed to be preserved as much as possible.

A crane would be brought in to remove roofing iron, which was cluttering the premises and making it difficult to move around.

The business, owned by Dunedin man Sean Blair and established 11 years ago, employs 10 full-time staff.

Mr Blair's insurance policy includes $4 million liability cover and cover to pay staff wages for up to a year.

damian.george@odt.co.nz

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