Man charged over suspicious fire

SEAMUS BOYER
Last updated 11:24 13/12/2012

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Wairarapa

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A man believed to be the son of the occupant of a flat that was gutted by a blaze this morning has been charged with arson.

The fire started in the William Kemp Pl flat at about 2am today, and quickly spread throughout the property.

Three fire crews - including one from Rimutaka - battled the blaze for nearly six hours, but were not able to stop the Trust House-owned property being completely gutted.

There was no-one in the property at the time.

A 22-year-old man, believed to be the son of the flat's occupant, has been arrested and charged with arson.

He will appear in Masterton District Court later today.

A woman who lives in the adjoining flat said she was woken by a series of bangs.

''Then I heard an explosion and breaking glass and timber,'' she said.

''I went out the front there and saw flames shooting out the windows.''

She ran back into the house to call 111, then grabbed her cat ''whom I'm very fond of'' before leaving.

The woman, who did not want to be named, had lived in the flat for 30 years, and was being moved out this morning to another Trust House rental.

There had recently been a lot of people ''coming and going'' at night at the burnt house, she said.

A neighbour said the flames were streaming out of the roof.

''It was full-on blazing by the time we got up.

''It was pretty freaky.'''

Fire communications shift manager Mike Wanoa said the fire started in a bedroom.

The house was fully ablaze when firefighters arrived.

Contact Seamus Boyer
Wairarapa reporter
Email: seamus.boyer@dompost.co.nz
Twitter: @SeamusBoyer

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- © Fairfax NZ News

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