Police continue work alongside FENZ following fatal fire

Police seek information after fatal fire
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Police continue to work closely alongside Fire and Emergency New Zealand (FENZ) and other community partners following the tragic fire at Loafers Lodge, Newtown, early this morning.

Police urge anyone who has been staying at Loafers Lodge in recent days to get in touch.

“We understand this is a really traumatic time for the families and community involved and we are working tirelessly alongside our partners to support them through this process,” Acting Wellington District Commander Inspector Dion Bennett says.

The scene examination, investigation and work to identify those in the building will all take time.

“This is an extensive and methodical process and we need to make sure we get it right for the families, loved ones, our partner agencies, and the community,” Inspector Bennett says.

Police anticipate entering the building tomorrow once FENZ releases the scene and an extensive health and safety risk assessment has been completed.

“While we have an initial indication of the number of people who were in the building, and of those who remain unaccounted for, we will not be confirming numbers at this stage.

“Until we are able to enter the building, we cannot make any definitive statements.

“The fire remains unexplained, and we have brought in specialist investigative teams from around the district and country to assist.

“We’re working to determine who was in the building and ensure their welfare, but at this stage we can’t comment beyond that,” Inspector Bennett says.

Police urge anyone who has been staying at Loafers Lodge in recent days to get in touch.

They are asked to call 105 and reference Operation Rose, or go online to https://www.police.govt.nz/use-105#online-report-options and select the form “Something Else”, referencing Operation Rose.

A scene guard will remain in place overnight to ensure the integrity of the scene and the security of the property.