15 Apr 2014

Arrest over fire at self-storage building

12:04 pm on 15 April 2014

Police have made an arrest over the fire that seriously damaged a self-storage facility in Wellington.

A 34-year-old Johnsonville man appeared in Wellington District Court on Tuesday on one charge of arson at Kiwi Self Storage in the suburb of Kilbirnie.

Fire crews were called to the blaze at 12.45am on Friday.

The fire at the self-storage facility in Kilbirnie burned for more than a day Photo: RNZ / Diego Opatowski

He has been granted interim name suppression and remanded in custody.

Detective Senior Sergeant Grant Ferguson said an investigation team has been engaging with the community and collecting information and evidence along the way.

"As a result, this arrest has been made late yesterday after a search warrant was executed at a Johnsonville address.

"A vehicle has also been seized that we believe is relevant to the investigation."

The blaze on 4 April burned for over 24 hours and 18 crews were on site at its peak. Temperatures in the building topped 1000 degrees Celsius. The fire destroyed or damaged contents of hundreds of lockers including Academy Awards, family heirlooms and documents.

Wellington Police are seeking witnesses who may have seen a 1994 Daihatsu Charade, coloured light blue, in the suburbs of Johnsonville and Kilbirnie, particularly around the storage unit, between 12am and 1am on the day of the fire.

Mr Ferguson said police were still seeking the public's help as he believes they will hold valuable information about the movements of the accused man on the night of the fire.