Arson charges laid after fire guts Dunedin bar in historic building

By Timothy Brown at Otago Daily Times

The fire at the historic Allbell Chambers was one of three started in Dunedin. Photo / Otago Daily Times
The fire at the historic Allbell Chambers was one of three started in Dunedin. Photo / Otago Daily Times

A 40-year-old Dunedin man has been charged with arson after a blaze gutted a bar near the Octagon, and two other fires in the city early this morning.

A police spokesman confirmed the man had been charged with arson after the fire at the Di Lusso Bar in the historic Category 2 listed Allbell Chambers in lower Stuart St about 4am today.

The man had also been charged with arson over two other fires and was expected to appear in the District Court later today.

Sergeant Phil Hamlin said it appeared all fires had been started using newspaper.

Crews were called to the building in lower Stuart St just after 4am. Photo / Stephen Jaquiery
Crews were called to the building in lower Stuart St just after 4am. Photo / Stephen Jaquiery

The blaze at the bar did not appear to be motivated by any ill-will towards its owner, Hamlin said.

An armchair was also set alight in a driveway of a Cargill St property, and a pile of newspapers lit underneath a car in Cumberland St, between 3.30am and 4.05am.

A Fire Service spokesman said the blaze at Di Lusso Bar was noticed by a crew attending the Cumberland St fire.

Four appliances from Willowbank, Dunedin, St Kilda and Roslyn attended the Stuart St blaze and a fire investigator was at the scene this morning.

The Allbell Chambers building is more than 100 years old.

- Otago Daily Times

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