Hotel fire not suspicious
POLICE believe there are no suspicious circumstances surrounding the death of a man in a fire at Thorpdale’s only hotel last Tuesday (April 4).
The body is believed to be that of publican John Bantock but forensic testing will be conducted to confirm the identity.
Police will prepare a report for the Coroner.
Neighbours notified emergency services of the fire at the Station Street hotel at 1.40am. Firefighters arrived to find the top level of the two-storey of the Travellers Rest Hotel well alight.
The fire, which caused extensive damage, was brought under control by CFA firefighters.
A search of the premises resulted in firefighters locating a man’s body amongst the debris.
CFA operations officer Bill Alards said despite devastating circumstances, firefighters did a brilliant job.
“Crews restricted the fire to the second storey of the building and took just over an hour to bring the incident under control,” he said.
“The building roof had partially collapsed and we had crews on the scene battling the fire in breathing apparatus.”
The fire was called under control at 2.55am.
CFA vehicles from Allambee, Driffield, Mirboo North, Moe South, Morwell, Thorpdale, Trafalgar, Yarragon and Yinnar attended the incident.
Baw Baw Crime Investigation Unit detectives are investigating.
Anyone with information about the fire is urged to contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000 or make a confidential report at www.crimestoppersvic.com.au
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