Capital house burns for third time

PAUL EASTON
Last updated 18:32 10/11/2012
Wellington fire
PHIL REID/Fairfax NZ
GROUNDHOG DAY: A fire burns on the deck of a Wellington house, damaged in two previous fires.

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A large house in central Wellington has caught fire for the third time in three years.

Firefighters were called to the 100-year-old three-storey house in Allenby Terrace, above Willis St, about 5.30pm today.

Flames were seen licking around a support post at the base of the house.

The blaze was swiftly extinguished after firefighters made their way down to the site.

Fire Service shift manager David Meikle said the cause of the fire would be investigated.

The eight-bedroom home has been derelict since an arson in 2009.

Zachariah Wilton, 19, was jailed for two years and three months in February 2010 for setting fire to the building knowing danger to life was a likely issue.

The judge in the case said at the time the house was not habitable.

The house caught fire again in spectacular fashion in September 2011.

Flames and smoke were visible from much of Wellington before the fire was brought under control.

While police said that fire was suspicious, they were unable to determine a cause because of asbestos risks forcing them to dispose of much of the evidence.

The house, which is divided into five flats, is all boarded up.

Neighbours have reported people squatting there.

In February it was listed for sale for $495,000.

A real estate agent described the site as "blank canvas" for builders for those looking for land in a good location.

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- The Dominion Post

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