Squatter's fire extinguished

09:44, Jul 30 2014

A fire started by a squatter inside an empty Wellington building ‘‘could have been a major’’, police say.

A witness, Andrew McCallum, said he smelled smoke coming from a building on Sar St, off Hutt Road, about 8pm.

When he and a workmate looked in a window they saw a man who had apparently started a small fire.

Smoke was filling the building, the former Flamingo Function Centre.

"You could see the flickering of flames," he said.

The Fire Service and police soon arrived and found a small fire in a metal rubbish bin. It was swiftly extinguished.

Detective Sergeant Glen Cooper said it may have been started by a squatter in an attempt to keep warm.

A police dog was brought in to find him, but turned up nothing.

‘‘It could have been a major, but it was reported quickly,’’ Cooper said.

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The Dominion Post