Deliberately lit fire destroys a five-year family project in Tingha

The dwelling was still smouldering on Tuesday morning as Ray Craigie re-visited the devastating crime scene.
The dwelling was still smouldering on Tuesday morning as Ray Craigie re-visited the devastating crime scene.

A Tingha family was left devastated after a suspicious fire tore through their five-year building project on Tuesday night.

Emergency services were called to the structure fire just before midnight along the Tingha racecourse road. 

Owner Ray Craigie arrived a short time later, after being notified by a neighbour, to find the dwelling completely destroyed.

Chief Inspector Rowan O’Brien said the shed conversion which housed a bed, bathroom and living area was well-alight upon arrival.

“Police seized a number of items for forensic testing and forensic service police will attend the scene later today,” he told TheInverell Times on Tuesday morning.

Ch Insp O’Brien said police were treating the blaze as suspicious and urged anyone with information to contact Inverell police.

Now, Mr Craigie and his family have been left asking why.

“Why would anyone do this? I’ve been working on extensions and fixing it up for us to live in for five years now,” he said.

Everything the Craigie family owned was inside the dwelling. The damage estimating to leave the family more than $80,000 out of pocket.

“Everything we own, my ride-on lawn mower, building materials, wood fire stove still in the box and brand new bathroom supplies have all been ruined.”

To Mr Craigie, the fire looked deliberately lit as power was not connected to the dwelling, nor were there any fire accelerants inside.

“It couldn’t have been an electrical fault and the fire started inside. When fire fighters arrived our two large rain water tanks had water flowing out of the valve so someone must have opened them,” he said.

The Craigie family were supposed to relocate into the shed conversion two months ago, however a death in the family delayed the move; a death they are still grieving.

Mr Craigie urged anyone with information to speak out for justice to be served. If you have information contact the station on 6722 0599.

This story Deliberately lit fire destroys a five-year family project in Tingha first appeared on The Guyra Argus.

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