Drug links to fatal fire house

Police investigate the death of a man in fire at a property in Portland’s Hurd Street on Thursday.     140516AM10   Picture: ANGELA MILNE

Police investigate the death of a man in fire at a property in Portland’s Hurd Street on Thursday. 140516AM10 Picture: ANGELA MILNE

POLICE and CFA investigators spent yesterday sifting through the shell of a Portland bungalow where a man’s body was found after a fire on Thursday evening.

Fire broke out in the bungalow behind a notorious Hurd Street property just after 7.30pm.

The house has been the scene of at least five deaths, including three drug overdoses and one fatal stabbing.

The home’s owner Peter Taylor told The Standard last year that he had revived at least six people who were “dying from drug overdoses”.

He said he had lived in the home for the past eight years and rented out the bungalow. 

“The overdoses have all happened in the bungalow. I live in the house. They come into the house and call out for me to help,” he said at the time. “It’s been years since I’ve rented out the bungalow. I’m not sure who’s there all the time. People have come and gone. I haven’t met half of them — they are just looking for somewhere to stay.”

A police guard was set up at the property overnight Thursday with Portland criminal investigation unit detectives, arson squad chemists and a CFA investigator arriving yesterday morning.

The burnt-out bungalow could not be seen from the street, but a steady flow of cars still streamed passed the house yesterday.

Detectives at the scene remained tight-lipped, only saying investigations were continuing.

A police media spokeswoman said neighbours noticed smoke coming from the bungalow just before 7.30pm.

Firefighters called to the blaze found the man’s body while extinguishing the fire.

“There was no one in the house at the front at the time,” the spokeswoman said.

The age and identity of the victim have not been released.

Smartphone
Tablet - Narrow
Tablet - Wide
Desktop