Specialist officers called to investigate Kyogle house fire
UPDATE, Wednesday, 8.30am: POLICE are asking the occupants of a property on Smiths Creek Road, Smiths Creek near Kyogle, which burned to the ground on Sunday night, to contact them as soon as possible.
Richmond Police District Acting Inspector Russell Ewing said they have not been able to locate the people living in the residence and there are concerns for their safety.
"The Smiths Creek house fire is an ongoing investigation," he said.
"The forensic officers from the State Crime Squad's dedicated arson unit were on the scene yesterday."
No information has yet been released as to the cause of the fire which saw crews from the Rural Fire Service and Fire and Rescue NSW attend on Sunday evening.
UPDATE, Tuesday, 4.30pm: SPECIALIST officers from the State Crime Command and Coffs Harbour have arrived on the Northern Rivers to assist in the investigation of a property fire.
On Tuesday afternoon, Richmond Police District Acting Insp Russell Ewing said a property on Smiths Creek Rd, Smiths Creek, near Kyogle, was still considered a crime scene and under police protection.
"We have had other specialist resources from the arson unit to assist and other resources from the Northern Region," he said.
"And additional police officers have come up from Coffs Harbour to give us a hand.
"This is all part of a regional response."
Act Insp Ewing said at this stage the reason the property which was fully engaged with flames when police and fire brigades arrived on Sunday evening is still being treated as suspicious.
"The site is being well protected and we have crime scene guards on overnight," he said.
"We have contingency plans for inclement weather that could destroy evidence or hamper our investigation."
UPDATE, Monday, 11.55am: FIRE investigators from the Rural Fire Service are working with police at the scene of a house fire which occurred on the northern Rivers last night.
RFS superintendent Michael Brett said when crews arrived at the scene the property was fully alight.
"About 1800 hours (6pm) crews were called to a house fire on Smiths Creek Rd," he said.
"When the first crew from Wyneden arrived at 1808 (6.08pm) they reported that the building was fully involved and on the verge of collapse."
Supt Brett said crews from Fire and Rescue Kyogle, RFS Kyogle HQ and Toonabar were also in attendance.
"Obviously this fire had been going for a little while," he said.
"Our crews worked until about 10.30pm to extinguish the fire."
Supt Brett said when police arrived the area was determined as a crime scene.
"The scene was locked down overnight," he said.
"Now we have crime scene detectives and RFS fire investigators there this morning."
More to come.
Original story: POLICE officers were on guard at the scene of a suspicious house fire overnight in order to ensure any evidence remained undisturbed after it was confirmed two people were missing.
Richmond Police District Inspector David Vandergriend confirmed a residence on Smiths Creek Rd, Kyogle, was currently under police guard.
"Police were on scene last night to preserve the integrity of the evidence for examination today by dectectives as we are still accounting for a couple of occupants," he said.
"On Sunday police established a crime scene at the property around 7pm."
Inspector Vandergriend said police were informed of a fire at the single-level timber property at 5.47pm on Sunday.
He said the Rural Fire Service also attended.
"Our detectives will be there today, but we are still in the early stages of the investigation," Insp Vandergriend said.
"If anyone has any information they can contact our detectives on 6662 0099 or Crimestoppers on 1800 333 000."