December 11, 2023

Man arrested in relation to deadly Loafers Lodge fire

Related video: Police have launched a homicide investigation after the deadly fire at a Wellington hostel.

A man has been arrested in relation to the fatal fire at Loafers Lodge in Wellington.

Wellington police confirmed on Thursday officers arrested a man in relation to the fire that killed at least six people on Monday night.

The man has been charged with two counts of arson and is scheduled to appear in Wellington District Court on Friday.

The investigation into the fire is ongoing and police said they have not ruled out further, more serious charges in relation to the deaths at the scene.

Acting Wellington District Commander Inspector Dion Bennett said he is confident that police are not seeking anyone else in relation to the fire.

As the matter is now before the Court, police are unable to provide further comment at this stage.

The large blaze broke out at the hostel in Newtown where over 90 people resided.

Six deaths have been confirmed, but police fear that number could rise as officers enter the charred building to conduct a scene examination.

Earlier on Thursday, police recovered two bodies which will be taken to the mortuary, where there is a specific process for disaster victim identification.

While for the residents that survived, dozens have been left effectively homeless and without any possessions.

On Wednesday, police confirmed they are treating the fire as arson, essentially sparking a homicide inquiry into the tragedy that has rocked the community.

It is unknown whether the man arrested was a resident of the hostel.

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