Arson hits east of Auckland

SIMON SMITH
Last updated 05:00 19/12/2012

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Suspicious fires continue to plague the eastern suburbs, with four being lit in one recent weekend.

They follow a spate of arsons across the area over the past few months, including at least eight at schools.

The police have been given ''very good descriptions'' of people seen near a fire in commercial bins on Gooch Pl in Somerville, fire risk management officer Phil Faidley said.

Howick firefighters regularly attend suspicious fires around Gooch Pl.

Faidley said the latest was lit on December 8 at 2am but did not cause much damage because the bins were empty.

In one of the other three incidents that weekend a trailer parked by cricket nets in Lloyd Elsmore Park was set alight on December 9 at 1.34am.

The trailer contained LPG bottles but they were designed not to explode in a fire.

A fire also damaged a fence on Whitford Rd and there was a vegetation fire at Pukekiwiriki Place, East Tamaki, on the Sunday. The scrub fire was deliberately lit but possibly not with malice, Faidley said.

''Whether it was with the intention of causing damage or whether it was with the intention of getting rid of rubbish we don't know.''

Faidley said the public had gone some way to stopping the fires -  by making sure rubbish and recycling bins were empty and secured away from property.

''With luck and a little bit more work, hopefully the police will be able to apprehend these people and we can curtail it.''

Anyone with information can call police on (09) 261 1300 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

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- Auckland Now

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