Returning early from his Christmas holiday, a Highbury man was met with "a pretty tragic sight" – the burnt shell of his Palmerston North home.
Cory Bromwich was holidaying in Cambridge when police called him yesterday with the news his house had been deliberately set alight.
Firefighters took about half an hour to get the fire under control, and three bedrooms were extensively damaged.
The rest of the house had serious smoke damage.
"There's not much that's salvageable," Mr Bromwich said.
The house, where he lives with his sister, was insured, though Mr Bromwich said he had lost many personal items. However, he hoped he could save a prized painting done by his father.
Mr Bromwich said he hoped anyone who knew who had started the fire would contact police.
"If anyone knows who did it and they came forward, that would be great."
With his holiday cut short, it was now a case of sorting through the house and dealing with his insurance company.
"It's not the best start to the year," he said.
Police confirmed yesterday that the fire, on the corner of Sinclair Ave and Marriner St, was a case of arson.
Detective Jonny Oram, of Palmerston North CIB, said interviews with residents of surrounding properties had not turned up any leads.
Mr Oram said it appeared somebody had broken into the house before the fire was lit.
"We have not established what, if anything, has been taken," he said.
Mr Oram asked for anyone with information about the fire or who saw anything suspicious in the area to call Palmerston North police on 063513600 or the anonymous Crimestoppers line on 0800555111.
- © Fairfax NZ News
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