VicPD to release photos of man missing after suspicious fire

Plaza hotel

Victoria Police say they will release surveillance images today of the caretaker of the former Plaza Hotel, who has been missing since a fire gutted the abandoned building last week.

Victoria Police have deemed the blaze suspicious, but VicPD constable Matt Rutherford says 'suspicious' doesn't necessarily mean 'nefarious', it simply means they have yet to determine an exact cause.

Officers were granted a search warrant for the property on Monday afternoon.

Victoria Fire investigators also remain on site, and will continue to look for clues on the source of the fire over the next few weeks.  A back-hoe is on the scene, carefully removing the debris, so investigators can try to locate the origin and cause of the blaze.  An arson investigator is also on the scene, checking for any accelerants that could have been used to start the fire.

Mike Draeger, the building caretaker, still remains unaccounted for, and Vic PD worried that he may have been inside the building at the time of the fire.  No sign of Draeger has been found yet though, and Vic PD asks that anyone with information on Draeger or his whereabouts come forward.

Officers are also gathering CCTV footage from neighbouring buildings, in the hope of finding a suspect.

Meantime, the Victoria Fire Department continues an investigation into another early morning fire that occurred over the past weekend in the 1300-block of Broad Street.

To date, there is no information indicating that the two fires - one week and two block apart - are connected.



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