Aitutaki resort fire ‘not suspicious’ – investigators

Monday August 13, 2018 Written by Published in Crime
The spectacular blaze at Aitutaki Lagoon Private Island Resort destroyed three bungalows and The Flying Boat Beach Bar & Grill. PHOTO: Annita Drollet. 18073001 The spectacular blaze at Aitutaki Lagoon Private Island Resort destroyed three bungalows and The Flying Boat Beach Bar & Grill. PHOTO: Annita Drollet. 18073001

Aitutaki Lagoon Private Island Resort managing director Tata Crocombe says investigators have confirmed “no suspicious circumstances” were involved in the fire which destroyed three accommodation units and a beach bar.

 

He says CCTV footage confirmed the fire, which occurred late last month, was the result of an electrical fault in a kitchen appliance.

The resort’s Flying Boat Beach Bar & Grill and three beachfront bungalows were razed to the ground in the fire.

Crocombe says the resort’s business has been affected by the loss of the bungalows and restaurant and the bar.

He says they are hoping to rebuild the destroyed buildings and have them ready for business by early next year.

“We have three less bungalows and so have had to relocate some guests. We have had some cancellations due to the Beach Bar and Grill not being available. There is reduced restaurant and bar revenue with the loss of the Beach Bar,” says Crocombe.

The initial investigation on the fire on July 29 was carried out by the local police and the fire brigade team, followed by a full investigation by fire assessors from New Zealand.

Crocombe earlier said the resort was fully insured and they should get back on their feet very quickly.

He also said nobody would be losing their job.

He said the resort was now working with their colleagues in the hotel industry as well as the fire brigade and police to ensure the best possible response to such disasters were coordinated across the island.

He thanked the businesses and people of Aitutaki for their support during and after the fire.

“We are grateful for the assistance of the mayor, island council, fire brigade, police, our colleagues in the hotel industry from Tamanu Resort, Aitutaki Village, Ranginui’s Retreat and Pacific Resort and over 100 members of the public who assisted our staff to fight the fire, because without their efforts, the situation could have been much worse. This assistance has continued through to the clean-up phase,” says Crocombe.

The 36-bungalow, five-star resort has been listed on Trade Me since March with an asking price of $32.29 million.

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