10 Apr 2014

Police talk to witnesses in storage arson

3:19 pm on 10 April 2014

Police investigating the arson of a Wellington storage facility say they are speaking to several potential witnesses as they try to identify a man thought to be the arsonist.

Police have released this CCTV image of a man they want to identify.

Police have released this CCTV image of a man they want to identify. Photo: NZ POLICE

A security camera image has been issued of a man whose face is obsured arriving at Kiwi Self Storage in Kilbirnie late on Thursday night carrying a fuel canister. He left three minutes later.

Detective Senior Sergeant Grant Ferguson said the scene examination is almost completed and police are now interviewing people who may have seen the man.

He said police have several potential eyewitnesses to talk to, who called them with potential sightings around the storage building.

Several items from the units where the fire started has been sent for forensic testing, which could take weeks.

Police and Kiwi Self Storage are trying to establish how many people had access to the security code the offender used to gain access to the building.

The blaze burned for over 24 hours and 18 crews were on site at its peak. Temperatures in the building topped 1000 degrees Celsius.

The top floor of one of the the complex's five buildings was destroyed.

Only ash and rubble left

A man who rents two units at Kiwi Self Storage says it was devastating to see his possessions reduced to a pile of ash and rubble.

Peter Fowler told Morning Report one of his units was close to where the fire started.

He said he has lost a lifetime of photos, memorabilia, books, artwork and documents worth about $40,000, many of which were irreplaceable.

Mr Fowler, who was not insured, is setting up a support group for those who have lost possessions in the fire and has asked people to send emails to: kiwistoragefire@gmail.com