by Gemma Handy
A former XPZ Supermarket worker charged with starting the fire which razed the store to the ground last week is expected to appear before court today.
Police confirmed yesterday afternoon they had charged Tianzhao Feng – also known as ‘Alex’ – with one count of arson.
The 29-year-old had been missing for several days after the Paynters-based store went up in flames in the early hours of June 1. Fears had abounded for his safety with fire officers scouring the premises looking for evidence of human remains.
Feng was charged after investigations were carried out into the cause of the blaze which gutted the two-storey building – along with an adjacent structure that served as living quarters – on Sir Sydney Walling Highway.
The supermarket’s destruction has left almost 60 staff out of work.
The XPZ store opened in 2018, selling everything from food and clothing to household items and toys. A spokesman for the company previously indicated that the owner – who is currently off island – hopes to rebuild.