War vets stumped by RSA arson

Greymouth CIB and the RSA are still questioning who set fire to the war veterans' clubrooms at the weekend.

Meanwhile, the club expects to be back in business within a couple of weeks, with repairs to the badly damaged bar under way today.

A fire set outside a back door to the clubrooms early on Saturday morning, spread inside causing extensive damage to the ceiling cavity.

Firefighters were able to limit the damage but were unable to prevent water damage.

Detective constable Mathew Tailby, of Greymouth CIB, said today the scene examination had been completed but he did not want to disclose details of what that had uncovered so as not to jeopardise follow-up inquiries.

He would not yet say whether an accelerant was used, if anything had been left at the scene, or whether police believed it was a deliberate attack on the RSA or a random attack.

Greymouth RSA president Mick Collins, a Vietnam War veteran, said he had no clues as to who was responsible, or why.

"As far as we know, and as far as the police know, it is nothing to do with us personally," Mr Collins said.

He said the Tainui St building had been left more vulnerable after the windstorm from Cyclone Ita blew down the fence at the rear of the property.

"It blew down the fences so people could get in the back. They could have got in the back before, but it wouldn't have been as easy."

Despite the wind damage and now the fire, Mr Collins said things were looking positive for the organisation.

"The future is all right, we have enough insurance to cover all the problems."

The meeting planned for last night had been postponed as the RSA did not have enough information so soon after the fire, so they would meet at a later date, he said.

- By Nicholas McBride of the Greymouth Star

Add a Comment