Looted house finally demolished

Constant reminder of burglary and fire now gone

JONO GALUSZKA
Last updated 12:00 27/11/2012
Flat
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FLATTENED: Clark Williams, Tom Nelson and Hogan Gill stand in front of the remnants of their Morris St flat.

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For nearly three months, Palmerston North student Hogan Gill and his five former flatmates have had a constant reminder about the day their flat was burgled and set alight.

But that reminder is now gone as the Morris St flat they shared was demolished at the weekend.

On the night of August 30, the flat was broken into and looted. The offenders then set a couch in front of the flat on fire, which quickly spread.

Mr Gill, who along with two other flatmates was present to watch the demolition, said seeing the building flattened was "fun to watch".

"I was quite envious of the truck driver, getting to smash it all down."

Having the house come down was good, he said.

"It was sad going past, seeing it in the shape it was in, with half our stuff strewn across the lawn."

Since the suspected arson, Mr Gill and the rest of his flatmates had received numerous offers of help.

To raise funds, they auctioned a smoke-damaged, half-empty jar of Marmite, which ended up selling for $200.

Detective Nigel Affleck said investigations were continuing.

He said it was unusual that distinctive items - including a 42-inch Panasonic 3-D flat screen plasma television and a Canon camera lens - had not surfaced.

A group of people seen walking from Morris St to Ferguson St at the time of the fire had not spoken to police, and no stolen property had been recovered.

"It would be nice if they came forward so we could [rule them out as suspects] and also get some possible identification as to the offender."

Anyone with information can call Palmerston North police on 06 351 3600 or the anonymous Crimestoppers line on 0800 555 111.

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- Manawatu Standard

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