Inquiry after Southland home destroyed by fire

The fire severely damaged the Eastern Bush property. Photo: Abbey Palmer
The fire severely damaged the Eastern Bush property. Photo: Abbey Palmer
Investigators have spent the day searching through the remains of a Western Southland property after it was burned almost entirely to the ground

Dale Watene
Missing man Dale Watene.
Southland fire and police investigators were on the scene today following reports of a fire at the property on Clifden Gorge Rd, Eastern Bush about 1.45pm yesterday. 

It was reported yesterday there was a link between the owner of the house and missing man Dale Tama Watene (40), who was allegedly the owner’s employee.

However, police were unable to confirm whether or not there was a link.

A police spokeswoman said today they were still “in the early stages’’ of the investigation.

Mr Watene was reported missing from the Otautau area on April 17 and is yet to be found.

A plea was posted on the Otautau Facebook page early on the morning of April 20 by friend Ben Philip, appealing for information.

“If you see or hear from him please speak up. There are a lot of people worried and searching for you mate,’’ it said.

Invercargill chief fire investigator Murray Milne-Maresca was one of the team of investigators on the scene today and said “there’s a lot of damage.’’

He was also unable to confirm whether or not the fire was suspicious.

“Everything’s being treated with extreme care . . . it’s like anything, it takes time.

The investigation would continue tomorrow.

 - abbey.palmer@odt.co.nz

An investigation was under way at the scene today. Photo: Abbey Palmer
An investigation was under way at the scene today. Photo: Abbey Palmer

Add a Comment

 

Advertisement

Our journalists are your neighbours

We are the South's eyes and ears in crucial council meetings, at court hearings, on the sidelines of sporting events and on the frontline of breaking news.

As our region faces uncharted waters in the wake of a global pandemic, Otago Daily Times continues to bring you local stories that matter.

We employ local journalists and photographers to tell your stories, as other outlets cut local coverage in favour of stories told out of Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch.

You can help us continue to bring you local news you can trust by becoming a supporter.

Become a Supporter