Historic home badly damaged in fire

Damage at the side of the house in Montagu St.

AN historic local home looks set for a sad end following an arson attack in the early hours of Friday morning.

The house at 53 Montagu St was well alight when multiple units from local fire brigades arrived at about 3.30am. Fire and police officers remained on the scene well into the morning.

The Mercury reported that the occupants of the house had safely vacated the building and no one was injured. Damage was estimated at $400,000.

A police spokesman said the fire had been extinguished but, due to the extent of the damage, the house will need to be demolished.

A fire scene examiner determined that the fire was deliberately lit, and handed the investigation over to the Glenorchy CIB to continue. Security camera vision from around the area will be reviewed as part of the inquiry.

The house before the fire.

Known to many as “Clare Lee’s house” after a former long-term owner, the house appeared to be about a century old, built in the brick bungalow style that became popular after World War I. Miss Lee, who died in 2006, was a member of the family of local businesspeople who are remembered at Lee’s Corner, High St, where J.F. Lee and Sons once had a large drapery shop.

Police ask that anyone who has any information about the fire to contact the Glenorchy Criminal Investigation Branch on 131 444. Information can also be given anonymously to Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000 or www.crimestopperstas.com.au.

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