1 Sep 2014

Man who lived in burnt out house 'loner'

8:42 pm on 1 September 2014

A neighbour near a burned out Far North house where a man's body has been found says the man who lived there was a loner who had troubles.

Police say the remains of a man found after an explosive fire at the centre of a lengthy armed offenders squad callout at Mangamuka in Northland will not be removed today.

The Defence Force bomb disposal unit arrived just after midday after police found what was thought to be a grenade.

The stand-off began yesterday afternoon, after the police were told of a gun being fired in a trespass dispute, and lasted more than 14-hours.

Armed officers negotiated with the man but lost contact before they noticed a fire shortly after midnight.

That was followed by a number of explosions and his body was found just before 5am.

A neighbour, who does not want to be named, said the now-destroyed dwelling had been auctioned off some months ago but the man would not move out.

He believed the man and the person who bought it were having issues because the purchaser had not been able to gain possession of the house.

The neighbour said the man was lonely, had been without work, and lived by himself after his mother moved away.

Fire Service area commander Allan Kerrisk said a crew will meet with detectives tomorrow morning before recovering the man's remains.

He said the building was fully ablaze when crews arrived and the dwelling, along with a garage with a car inside, were destroyed.