THE multi-millionaire owner of Parnham House arrested over a devastating fire at the property has denied being involved and said he wanted to rebuild and restore it.
Hedge fund manager Michael Treichl said it was ‘insane’ to think he could have been involved in the arson attack which gutted the Grade I-listed stately home near Beaminster, which dates back to the 16th century.
After Mr Treichl was released by police pending further inquiries, he and wife Emma spoke about the blaze for the first time.
Mr Treichl told the Mail on Sunday: “I am devastated at the loss of our home.
“The restoration of Parnham has been my life’s work and it is insane to think I could have destroyed it. I am now intent on rebuilding and restoring it.”
As reported, police were called in following a huge fire which ripped through Parnham in the early hours of Easter Saturday.
Around 100 firefighters were involved in tackling the fire which caused considerable damage. Such was the extent of the fire it took until Wednesday before the fire service confirmed the blaze had been fully extinguished.
The property is likely to be cordoned off for some time to allow investigators to examine the scene.
Dorset Police said on Wednesday that a 68-year-old Beaminster man had been arrested on suspicion of arson and was assisting police with enquiries.
The following day police said the man arrested had been released under investigation. No charges have been brought and there are no bail conditions.
Police have not revealed the identity of the arrested man but a spokesman for Mr Treichl, 68, told The Sun: “Mr Treichl is helping police with their inquiries. He wants to resolve this as much as anyone. He and his family are devastated at the loss of the house.”
The couple reputedly spent £10 million restoring Parnham House after buying it.
Mrs Treichl reportedly worked with Clarence House interior designer Robert Kime to turn it into a modern family home.
None of the family were at home when the fire broke out.
Recalling the day after the fire, Mrs Treichl told the Mail on Sunday: “Michael was at Parnham the following day, looking at the burning wreckage. He was gutted, very emotional. He could barely speak.”
She said seeing Parnham for the first time after the blaze was like looking at a doll’s house without the roof.
“Looking at the charred remains of our home was shocking, disturbing – it is still hard to put into words,” she told the newspaper.
She said everything had been lost including historical artefacts but the family had already been in touch with English Heritage and were determined Parnham could be returned to its former glory.
The family have been advised by their lawyers not to discuss the events of the night while the investigation continues.
We reported last week how Parnham’s former owner told of his sadness and said the world was mourning the loss of the property.
Renowned furniture designer John Makepeace ran his School for Craftsmen in Wood there for 25 years before selling it to Michael and Emma Treichl in 2001 for around £4 million.
He said he’d been contacted by his former students from all around the world all experiencing a profound sense of shock and loss.