Australian entrepreneur John Singleton’s vacation home was destroyed last night by a fire.
The Australian reports that the fire caused about $500,000 in damage and Singleton lost several “irreplaceable paintings.” Among the paintings was a study in oil of Sir Donald Bradman by Bill Leak.
Leak said: “I’m very depressed about it. These things cannot be replaced.”
Singleton, however, said that he wasn’t worried about the money or the paintings. The entrepreneur was just happy that no one was hurt in the blaze.
Singleton said: “Everyone is OK. No one was hurt and that is all that matters. We can always rebuild.”
Monique Marks, director of Singleton’s Coast and Country Property, said that there were guests staying at the house this weekend but they had checked out before the fire started.
Marks said: “John loves this property and he’s very upset that it has been damaged, but he’s just grateful that no one was injured. We did have guests over the weekend but they had checked out and staff had locked up and left.”
The Herald Sun reports that police have started an investigation into the fire. The fire was dubbed “suspicious” but authorities had to momentarily halt the investigation because the property was deemed unstable and unsafe.
A spokesman said: “At this stage fire is being treated as suspicious until investigators prove otherwise.”
More than 80 firefighters arrived on the scene to fight the blaze last night. They were unable to save the main guest house. The kitchen, dining area, and the bar in Singleton’s home were destroyed by the fire.