By Anan Zaki of RNZ
A coronial inquest is under way to determine the cause and circumstances surrounding the death of a Franz Josef mechanic.
Clive Raymond Jenkins, 40, died following a fire at his workshop on the night of September 13, 2016.
In her opening this morning, the counsel assisting the coroner, Sara Jamieson, said fire investigators concluded the blaze was deliberate.
However, the cause of death was yet to be determined.
The court also heard a 111 call from a distraught witness, telling the operator that Jenkins had "gone crazy".
The witness said Jenkins had also retrieved guns.
"He's gone crazy, got the bulldozer and is ripping the place up ... and I think he's going to set it on fire," the witness told the 111 operator.
"Hurry! Hurry!" the audibly distraught witness said.
The situation developed as the caller was speaking to the operator.
The witness repeatedly told the operator to hurry, as they saw the building go up in flames.
Meanwhile, Jamieson also read that around the time of the death, Jenkins was facing allegations from the Automobile Association (AA) that he had defrauded it to the tune of $30,000.
It was revealed the AA had filed a complaint with police prior to his death.
Jenkins' former partner of eight years, Michelle May, who co-founded the mechanic shop with him in Franz Josef, was among those giving witness statements on Monday morning.
May said the AA alleged he was "overcharging" for his work as a road service contractor.
She said it was something that was on his mind during the months before his death.
The court also heard that on the night of the fire, Jenkins called May around 7.20pm, which was 18 minutes before the 111 call was made, at 7.38pm.
"He sounded a bit flat... he said he couldn't handle it anymore," she said.
She said the conversation went for about seven minutes, but she did not know what was about to happen.
May said she had no knowledge of mental health issues in Jenkins' past.
She said Jenkins was described as a "functioning alcoholic" and that he loved his beer.
The hearing continues this week.