The beach vacation home of Australian entrepreneur John Singleton was destroyed in a fire Sunday evening.
Singleton simply says he is happy that no one was hurt in the blaze.
"Everyone is OK," Singleton said. "No one was hurt and that is all that matters. We can always rebuild."
A New South Wales state police spokesman estimates that the fire incurred approximately $500,000 in damages.
Several priceless paintings were destroyed in the fire, including a study in oils of Sir Donald Bradman by artist Bill Leak.
"I'm very depressed about it; these things cannot be replaced," Leak said. While he didn’t want to put a price on the piece, he added they were "worth a lot more than me."
The fire broke out about 6 p.m. Sunday, according to the Rural Fire Service. Neighbors witnessed smoke coming from the unoccupied house and alerted authorities.
Despite the property’s “extensive sprinkler system,” the kitchen, dining area, and bar of the main guesthouse succumbed to the flames.
While police have begun an investigation, the property is currently declared “unstable and unsafe.”
"At this stage fire is being treated as suspicious until investigators prove otherwise,'' said the police spokesman.
Monique Marks, director of Singleton's Coast and Country Property, released the following statement to police: "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," she said.
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