CIB treats shop fire as priority

Police guard the scene of a fire overnight that caused damage to 3 businesses on Boat Harbour Drive. Photo: Alistair Brightman / Fraser Coast Chronicle
Police guard the scene of a fire overnight that caused damage to 3 businesses on Boat Harbour Drive. Photo: Alistair Brightman / Fraser Coast Chronicle Alistair Brightman

CRIME Investigation Branch Detectives are treating the investigation of arson on a shopping complex on Boat Harbour Dr as a "priority".

Hervey Bay CIB Detective Sergeant Mick Polit told the Chronicle officers were still investigating the June 22 fire at the Central Plaza shopping district.

Det Sgt Polit said nobody had been charged and he was cautious about what information to release.

"We're investigating and putting it all together - no one's been charged at this stage," he said.

"It's a priority investigation, it's ongoing and we do believe people out there know what happened and they can, as stated before, contact us."

About 10.45pm on June 22 police, fire services and officers from the CIB were called to the scene after witnesses reported seeing plumes of smoke.

Only days later the cause of the fire was declared as arson.

The fire affected A1 Auto, an arts and craft store and SportFirst.

Det Sgt Polit said CIB officers knew about some rumours circulating around town regarding who started the blaze.

"We're aware of all the rumours obviously - but we can't charge people on rumours alone," he said.

Part of the ceiling collapsed and there was smoke damage, but after two "horrible" weeks SportFirst opened on Sunday.

Owner Dale Paxton said the store was almost back to normal.

"The insurance company took 81 pallets of stock out so we're kind of reloading at the moment," he said.

"We're getting 20 boxes a day to refill it.

"The support's been pretty good from the majority of the local community."

Topics:  arson, cib, hervey bay, police

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