Man charged with 5 counts of murder over Loafers Lodge fire

Thu, Jun 1
Emergency services at the scene of the fire on Wednesday, May 17.

A 48-year-old man has been charged with five counts of murder over last month's Loafers Lodge fire in Wellington.

He was already remanded in custody on two counts of arson over the May 16 blaze.

"The victims’ families have been advised," Inspector Dion Bennett, Acting Wellington District Commander said.

"Our thoughts are with them and we are continuing to ensure they are supported through this process."

Bennett said police has finished its "extensive" scene examination and Fire and Emergency NZ has now taken over the investigation there.

"Once FENZ have completed their work, the site will then be handed to Wellington City Council and the building owner.

"I want to thank our partner agencies in this investigation, including FENZ and Council, for their co-operation and assistance during this incredibly difficult and detailed investigation.

"Also our sincere thanks go to local residents and businesses who have been impacted since the fire occurred," Bennett said.

The man who has now been charged with murder over the fire was first arrested for arson charges on May 18.

He appeared in Wellington District Court the following day.

Yesterday police confirmed the final death toll from the fire stands at five people, with all 99 people who lived at the hostel being accounted for.


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