6 Jul 2018

Early signs one Cook Islands commercial fire probably arson

9:59 am on 6 July 2018

Early indications from investigations into two large fires in the Cook Islands last month are that the first was likely to have been deliberately lit and the second was the result of an electrical fault.

The burnt out Text Mart Store in Arorangi

The burnt out Text Mart Store in Arorangi Photo: RNZ Pacific / Flo Syme Buchanan

Both fires gutted shops.

The chief fire officer, Willie Hagai, said the findings of investigations carried out by service and Tower Insurance have been passed on to the police.

He said there was a lot of public speculation that both fires were the result of arson but it appears this is not the case.

Mr Hagai said property owners should ensure multi-plug units are up to date and replaced if they appear faulty.

Police on Rarotonga have asked people with any information about the fires to come forward.