Arson investigation into Circle St coffee shop fire

DETECTIVES from the Glenorchy Criminal Investigation Branch are investigating the fire that gutted the Circle Coffee House at New Norfolk yesterday evening (August 20). Addressing a media conference this afternoon, Acting Inspector Darren Latham said the incident was being treated as suspicious.

The scene that greeted firefighters on arrival.

The Tasmania Fire Service was called to the fire at 5.19pm on Saturday evening and despite the efforts of bystanders and the local fire brigade, the business was destroyed and an adjoining physiotherapy business suffered smoke and heat damage as well as water from the firefighting effort.

Fire investigators from the TFS along with Tasmania Police detectives and forensics officers returned to the scene this morning. Investigations continue to be undertaken and police wish to thank members of the local community who have already come forward with valuable information.

Acting Inspector Darren Latham of Tasmania Police.

Acting Inspector Latham said it appeared that the fire had been lit outside the building and then made its way inside. He would not comment on whether police had any firm suspects but said a particular line of inquiry was being followed.

“We are working very hard to work out who has done this – we are committed to resolving it – and if people have any information, no matter how small, please contact Crimestoppers or Glenorchy Police Station,” he said.

Anyone with information about the fire is asked to call Crimestoppers on 1800 333 000 or visit the Crimestoppers website. Information may be given anonymously.

Circle Coffee House owners Penny and Brett Wallner have tonight posted a message on Facebook to friends and customers:

Main picture: The scene at Circle Coffee House today.

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