๐Ÿ”ฅ Fiery Inferno in NZ Hostel: Alleged Arsonist Hit with Murder Charges! ๐Ÿšจ

TL;DR: Accused fire-starter in New Zealand got slapped with five murder charges for a deadly blaze at Loafers Lodge hostel. This heart-rending saga includes a hundred panic-stricken residents, an iconic street performer named Mike the Juggler losing his life, and a 48-year-old man staring at life imprisonment. Plus, lawmakers are asking: are our building regulations fire-safe? ๐Ÿค”

Late-night frights and the glow of fire alarmsโ€”sounds like a bad dream, right? Wrong. This nightmare was a reality for over a hundred residents of the Loafers Lodge hostel in Wellington, New Zealand, on the night of May 16, 2023. And now, the man accused of turning the hostel into a human barbecue ๐Ÿ”ฅ is facing more than just the heat; he’s been served up five piping-hot murder charges. ๐Ÿ˜ฒ

Just imagine: you’re tucked up in bed, dreaming of your next adventure, when all of a suddenโ€”fire! Residents had to skedaddle in their pajamas or get rescued from the rooftop by firefighters. Others even had to take the leap of faith from windows. ๐Ÿข๐Ÿ’จ

Now, doesn’t that make you wonder, “How safe is my building?” Well, turns out, this four-story hostel didn’t have any fire sprinklersโ€”something not required in many older buildings. And in the aftermath, there’s a pile of debris where a floor and parts of the roof used to be. Maybe it’s about time for a little review of building regulations, eh? ๐Ÿง

Among the five victims who didn’t make it out alive was 67-year-old Mike Wahrlich, a street performer widely known in Wellington as Mike the Juggler. He entertained the masses with his juggling skills, but who was there to save him when he was juggling for his life? ๐Ÿคนโ€โ™‚๏ธ๐Ÿ˜ข

The alleged fire-starter, a 48-year-old man, had earlier been charged with arson for setting a couch and the hostel itself on fire. He’s been cooling his heels in jail since two days post-blaze. But with these new murder charges, he could be looking at life in the slammer. For now, his name is on the hush-hush, courtesy of New Zealand’s legal system. But what about the plea? Guilty or not guilty? Well, we’re still waiting for that. ๐Ÿ™„

But hold upโ€”drama in the courtroom! At his first court appearance, our fiery friend tried to give his lawyer the boot. Didn’t see that one coming, did ya? ๐Ÿ‘จโ€โš–๏ธ๐Ÿ‘ข But guess what? The lawyer confirmed he’s still on the case.

While Inspector Dion Bennett and his crew wrapped up their examination of the charred remains of the hostel, he did leave us with a note of appreciation for the supportive residents of Wellington. Does that make up for the lack of fire sprinklers, though? ๐Ÿงฏ๐Ÿšซ

So, now that we’ve added a dash of spicy murder charges to this fiery story, will this prompt a change in New Zealand’s building regulations? Are you checking for fire sprinklers before booking your next hostel stay? And lastly, how about a moment of silence for Mike the Juggler and the other victims? May they juggle on in the great beyond… ๐Ÿ•Š๏ธ๐ŸŽช

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