Couple come forward to police after blaze destroys historic homestead

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1 NEWS

Police investigating the fire that destroyed the historic Mt Aurum Homestead at Skippers Canyon say they have now spoken to a couple they were seeking who were believed to have been staying in the building on the night of the fire.

The historic homestead near Queenstown was built during the gold rush around 1863.
Source: 1 NEWS

The couple contacted police today and police are satisfied they had reasons for not coming forward before now, police said this afternoon.

No arrests have been made and police say they are not seeking anyone else in relation to the fire. 

Police say it appears the fire was accidental. A police media spokesperson said police know who started the fire and how it started, but wouldn’t be releasing that information to the media at this stage.

Two buildings and 1200 square metres of vegetation were destroyed in the fire, which was discovered by campers around 2am on New Year's Day.

Around 20 firefighters from Queenstown and Arrowtown reached the scene of the fire at 3am and campers in the area helped control the blaze.

The homestead, also known as the school house, was one of two timber buildings in Skippers Canyon dating back to the gold rush era of the 1800s.

The historic school nearby was left unscathed by the blaze.

Police have thanked members of the public who provided valuable information to assist their enquiries.

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