19 Oct 2023

Oamaru artist Matthew Wicks thanks donors after house fire

4:51 pm on 19 October 2023
A close-up of the Fire and Emergency NZ logo.

The fire service attended the blaze in Oamaru on Wednesday morning. Photo: Marika Khabazi / RNZ

More than $12,000 has been donated towards an Oamaru artist and his family who lost their home in a suspicious fire.

Emergency services responded to the fire on the corner of Stuart and Perth streets shortly after 9am on Wednesday.

No one was injured, but the police are treating the fire as suspicious.

A GiveALittle page has been set up for mixed media artist Matthew Wicks, his wife and young daughter, saying they lost everything and the funds would help to replace necessities while they waited for insurance.

Wicks, also known as Wicksey, posted on his artist social media page, saying his family felt so much love from everyone as they came to grips with what has happened.

"Holding my wife and daughter knowing we are all safe is all I need right now. Possessions can be replaced and homes can be rebuilt. I feel so lucky to have my family around me safe and sound."

GiveALittle page creator and co-worker Philina Den Dulk thanked their supporters in an update post.

"In light of the latest update, this family needs your support and love more than ever. To think that someone has chosen to deliberately destroy this family's life is absolutely gut-wrenching," she said in the update.

"This delays so many of the logistical things, and makes a process that is already difficult a very drawn-out, gut-wrenching one."

Detective Sergeant Paul Strange said the police were investigating the fire and seeking information from anyone who might have witnessed something suspicious between 7.30am and 9.15am on Wednesday.