Couple contact police after plea

A couple who fled the scene of a fire that destroyed an historic homestead at the Skippers camping area on New Year's Day are ''embarrassed'', police say.

The man and woman, who are believed to have been staying in Mount Aurum Homestead on the night of the fire, contacted police yesterday afternoon, after a public plea for information on their whereabouts.

Detective Sergeant Derek Shaw, of Central Otago CIB, said in a statement he was satisfied the couple ''had reasons for not coming forward before now''.

No arrests had been made, but the police were not seeking anyone else in relation to the fire.

He told the Otago Daily Times police remained in contact with the couple while waiting for the fire investigator's final report.

''They're embarrassed about what's happened, and are helping us with our inquiries.''

Police had received valuable information from the public about the fire, he said.

Many people with a connection to the homestead have expressed their anger at the couple's actions.

Other campers who worked to prevent the fire from spreading say the pair left the scene without alerting them or calling emergency services.

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