Hutt fires might be arson

KAROLINE TUCKEY
Last updated 14:33 28/11/2012

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A series of fires in Wainuiomata and the Eastern Bays could be the work of a serial arsonist, police say.

Three fires appear to have been deliberately lit in scrub in the Parkway extension in Wainuiomata, or nearby in Kawatiri Gr, about 1am on Wednesday, October 17, and 9.30pm or 10.30pm on Thursday, November 1, and Friday, November 2.

A suspicious fire was also found in scrub at Point Howard about 10.30pm on Wednesday, November 14.

Senior Sergeant Paula Holt said while all four fires were small, police were concerned about the pattern.

Any fire that got out of control could become dangerous, and criminal profiling showed arsonists could also progress to other serious crimes, she said.

"At the present these fires have been reasonably small, due to the time of year and weather.

"However once vegetation starts drying out, there is the potential for larger fires to develop."

Residents should clean up any debris on their properties that could be lit easily, and report any suspicious behaviour.

The start of summer and the beginning of school holidays were a good time for parents to talk to children and teenagers about the dangers of lighting fires, she said.

Anyone with information about the incidents is asked to contact Lower Hutt police on 560 2600.

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