Fire investigators and police crime scene investigators are working to establish a cause of the blaze which destroyed backpacker accomodation at Thulimbah. Photo Erin Smith / Stanthorpe Border Post
Fire investigators and police crime scene investigators are working to establish a cause of the blaze which destroyed backpacker accomodation at Thulimbah. Photo Erin Smith / Stanthorpe Border Post Erin Smith

Investigations into Thulimbah hostel blaze continue

POLICE say investigations into a fire that destroyed an unfinished hostel at Thulimbah in February are yet to reveal anything suspicious.

Fire roared through the 12-bedroom motel at The Drover's Rest Hostel on Granite Belt Drive late on February 5.

Police initially treated the fire as suspicious.

Officer in charge of Stanthorpe's Crime Investigation Branch Damian Grace said as far as police were concerned, the investigation would be an open finding.

"We certainly can't rule out that the fire was accidental or electrical," he said.

"We can't prove any signs of arson.

"Certainly we still take statements but it all comes down to scientific analysis... at this stage there are no positive signs of suspicious activity."

Owner Jan Idec has struggled with the building for the past two years, claiming the builders had made errors in the reconstruction of the hostel prior to the fire.

He also claimed back in February the most logical explanation was someone had set the building alight.

In late 2014 Mr Idec pleaded guilty to housing 74 backpackers in a marquee on his property and was subsequently fined $70,000.

Mr Idec could not be reached for comment.

Stanthorpe Border Post

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