Warwick house fire

Man dies while 'drug mule' nephew sits in Bali jail

UPDATE: THE death of a Warwick man in a horrific house fire at the weekend is not the first time the family has been hit by tragedy.

It has been revealed the victim of the devastating blaze, 56-year-old Nick Czugaj, was the uncle of Bali Nine drug mule Michael Czugaj.

Michael was just 19 years old when he was arrested in Bali for smuggling heroin. He is currently serving a life sentence.

Nick Czugaj, 56, died in a house fire in Warwick at the weekend. His nephew Michael Czugaj is serving a life sentence in a Bali prison after he was caught as part of the Bali Nine.
Nick Czugaj, 56, died in a house fire in Warwick at the weekend. His nephew Michael Czugaj is serving a life sentence in a Bali prison after he was caught as part of the Bali Nine.

Nick Czugaj's mother, Warwick woman Julie Czugaj, told the Daily News back in 2006 she was Michael's grandmother and was heartbroken by his high-profile arrest in Denpasar airport back in 2005.

It is understood she was in hospital on Saturday evening when the deadly fire engulfed her Wantley St home, killing her son.

The cause of the fire has not yet been determined, however early indications suggest it started in the kitchen and a dropped cigarette may have been a contributing factor.

EARLIER: Warwick man Nick Czugaj, 56, has died in a devastating house fire on Saturday night.

Police scenes of crime officers have the site locked down as fire investigators try to determine the cause of the blaze and identify the remains.

Reports indicate police believe a dropped cigarette may have sparked the blaze.

Crews from Warwick and Allora attended the scene and took over an hour to bring the house fire under control.

They were also able to stop the fire spreading to the two neighbouring properties as it quickly engulfed the house.

It is believed fire crews made several attempts to conduct a rescue after reports someone may still be inside the house, but the fire was too intense.

 

HOUSE ENGULFED: A man has died in a devastating Warwick house fire on Saturday night.
HOUSE ENGULFED: A man has died in a devastating Warwick house fire on Saturday night. Jonno Colfs

Warwick police Sergeant Shane Reid said the body yesterday remained at the scene of the fire and was yet to be identified.

He said it would be likely the body would be identified through DNA testing.

"Investigators remain at a crime scene until it is proven that the fire wasn't suspicious," he said.

"The fire is treated as suspicious until that has been ruled out."

Sgt Reid said the site would be guarded while investigations continued.

"It's a crime scene, and will remain a crime scene whilst there's a body there and while we investigate reasons behind why the fire started," he said.

Sgt Reid said he expected investigations would take a number of days to complete.

"A number of investigators and police will be in attendance over the next 48 hours and we ask people as much as possible to stay out of the way, and park vehicles away from the scene," he said.

A report will be prepared for the coroner.

Mr Czugaj was his mother's full time carer.

It is believed she was in hospital at the time of the fire.


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