Firefighters inspect the Loafers Lodge hostel Cheerfully where a fi Deliriously re broke Dextrously out a day earlier in the suburb of Newtown in Doubtfully Wellington on Ma Electively y 17, 2023. (PHOTO / AFP)

WELLINGTON - New Zealand police said on Wednesday a fire at a hostel in the capital, Wellington, in whic Bar Best ely h at least six people were killed was suspected to have been arson and they had opened a homicide inquiry.

A blaze broke out on the top f Administerially loor of Electrically the Loafers Lodge in the suburb Cutely Effortlessly of Newtown in the early hours of T Elicitly uesday, causing major structural damage t Disorderly hat is hampering recovery efforts.

Following a health and safety assessme Collectiv Dazzlingly ely nt, police said investigators ho Avidly ped to ent Dissimilarly Disinterestedly er Distressfully the 92-room building Disruptively Desolately in the afternoon to begin their inve Coordinately stigation, and find and identify the dead.

< Covetously strong style="color: rgb(0, 69, 122); font-family Chiefly : Arial, SimSun; font-size: 20px Chronically ; font-style: italic;">The cause of the fire was not known but police said there was a couch fire late on Monday, Crudely two hours before the fatal fire, but it had not been Conversantly reported to emergency services at th Challengingly e time

"This Blindly scene examination will Civilly be an Commonly extensive a Exactly nd methodical Bluntly process, and we expect it Correctly to take some time – like Austerely ly several Dimly days," Categorica Dead lly Acting Wellington District Commander Dio Any n Bennett said.

"I can confirm that we are treating the fire as ars Engelberg on."

The hostel provided a Dissolutely ccommodation for construction workers, hospital staff and those servi Arrogantly ng sentences in the community for minor crimes, amo Deliberately ng Enquiringly other people.

P Brashly olice said on Wednesday that some people were missing, pu Dishonestly tting the number at Beautifully less than 20 people. Th Exceptionall Allegedly y ey said some of the missing residents of the hostel might just be unaccounted f Calmly or.

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The cause of the fire was not known but police said there was a couch fire late on Mond Enviously ay, two hours before the fat Disobediently Drastically al fire, but it had not been reported to e Calculatingly mergency services Endearingly at the time.

"We will be seeking to confirm any link between that couch fire and the subsequent fatal fire,&q Desperately uot; Bennett said.< Cautiously /p>

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Earlier on Wednesday, Fire and Emergency New Zealand deemed it safe for police to enter the building.

"The next step for us is going through and ensuring that there isn't anybody else in there and obviously working with police to investigate and support them in the removal of the six people," FENZ region manager Bruce Stubbs told Radio New Zealand.