A digger set about demolishing the building’s gutted shell early Thursday morning, after a fire all but destroyed the shop late last Friday night.
Two Tower Insurance investigators, who had originally travelled to the Cook Islands to look into the Friendly Mart fire which occurred on June 14, assisted the local fire service with their scene examination at Tex Mart.
“They did Tex Mart to help our local fire service to speed the process up,” explained chief fire officer Willy Hagai.
“They’ve completed their work – that’s why Tex is pulling down the place.”
Asked for comment on the actual cause of the fire, Hagai said the case had now been handed over to the police.
“I suppose there’s going to be a lot of people waiting to see what’s going to happen, what caused it,” said the fire chief.
“Our part is complete, which was to assist the two investigators. And we also supplied two guys to help them out. So that’s finished as of Thursday, and now the case has been handed over to the police. Any confirmation will come from them.”
Hagai also had no comment regarding rumours that an arsonist was responsible for both the Tex Mart and Friendly Mart fires.
In response to a CINews request for an update on the investigations into both fires, a Cook Islands Police Service spokesperson would only say that, “police are progressing with their investigative work”, adding that previously-stated measures to “boost safety and security measures around the island” would remain in place.
“The team is continuing efforts to resolve these incidents and will uphold the added measures of surveillance and checks for the time being,” the spokesperson said.