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Vigilance urged after bin fires

SIMON SMITH
Last updated 05:00 31/10/2012

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Two large paper recycling bins deliberately set on fire ignited concerns of a larger blaze.

The metal cages were lit early last Wednesday within an hour of each other, Howick fire station officer Rowan Hegley says.

They were within walking distance in Highland Park,

"On the second call I called for the police because I saw there was a pattern forming that could lead from that to something else."

With a police presence there were no more fires that night, he says.

The first bin lit was in the PlaceMakers car park just before 1am and the second behind the Howick Pakuranga Cricket Club in Lloyd Elsmore Park soon after.

"We had concerns going to that one because it came in as a building fire in Lloyd Elsmore and we had a fire at the cricket club some years ago."

The PlaceMakers car park fire could have caused significant damage.

"It was quite close to the building and it caught some of the fence on fire so it had the potential to travel along the fence and set the building on fire as well."

Mr Hegley says building owners should try to keep paper recycling bins away from buildings and people should be vigilant.

"If you see people hanging around looking like they are up to no good, they probably are," he says. "While we are attending nuisance fires like that it takes us out of the loop if something more serious should happen at the same time."

People are urged to report suspicious behaviour to the police on 111.

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- Eastern Courier

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