Mount Isa Harvey Norman fire was not deliberately lit

Fire services at the scene of the Harvey Norman fire in Mount Isa. Photo: Derek Barry.
Fire services at the scene of the Harvey Norman fire in Mount Isa. Photo: Derek Barry.

POLICE investigators remain uncertain about specifics that caused the fire at the Mount Isa Harvey Norman store in February. 

But the cause of the fire in Miles Street was non-suspicious and was likely to be due to an electrical fault, said a Detective Senior Constable of the Mount Isa Police Criminal Investigation Branch.

“It means the fire was non-suspicious and that is good for the local community knowing there’s not a firebug out there.” 

Mount Isa police said in March that the fire was likely to be caused by an electrical fault. Detective Snr Const Shane Wockner said investigators had wanted to confirm this belief with footage from a CCTV camera kept within the store. 

The camera had been sent to Brisbane for the footage to be examined. It had taken time to retrieve the footage from the badly damaged camera, Detective Snr Const Wockner said. But investigators were also waiting for forensic reports. 

Findings from police and QFES investigations were unclear as to if the fire was caused by an electrical appliance, or wiring in the building. 

The starting point of the fire was also unclear but it’s understood to have been in the electrical appliance section in the north-eastern corner of the building, said Detective Snr Const Wockner. 

He said the fire was a reminder for local business owners to ensure they had a fire safety plan, the fire alarms checked, and CCTV cameras installed. 

Harvey Norman had efficient smoke alarms and the installation of the CCTV cameras had been “very beneficial” to police.

It enabled them to determine the fire was not deliberately lit.  

FRANCHISEES: Mount Isa's two Harvey Norman franchisees Brian Bower and Brad Sheppard in their new location. Photo: Chris Burns.

FRANCHISEES: Mount Isa's two Harvey Norman franchisees Brian Bower and Brad Sheppard in their new location. Photo: Chris Burns.

The two Mount Isa franchisees have currently based the Harvey Norman business in Townview, between the Overlander Hotel and the Gidgee Healing Clinic.

Most of the electronics had been burnt in the fire and needed replacements from Sydney, but franchisee Brad Sheppard said they are “for the most part, virtually back in stock”. 

The store held its grand opening sale earlier in April.