Fire destroys Kimberly Centre building

MARIKA HILL
Last updated 12:00 31/12/2010
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ROBERT KITCHIN/Manawatu Standard
SUSPICIOUS BLAZE: Levin police are looking for an arsonist after fire ripped through an abandoned house at former psychiatric institute Kimberley Centre on Kimberly Rd near Levin

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Police are searching for an arsonist after fire gutted a derelict building on Kimberly Rd near Levin.

Flames destroyed the abandoned house at former psychiatric institute Kimberly Centre in the early hours of Wednesday morning. The fire is the latest in a string of early-morning blazes since the centre closed in 2006.

Levin police said they were working with fire investigation staff to find the offender or offenders who started the fire. Detective Stephen Yates said they believed it was arson due to the nature of the blaze. Police were following leads but could not comment further while an investigation was underway, he said.

A neighbour reported the fire after smelling a rubbery-type smoke.

The fire was so severe it left just one wall, the chimney and foundation concrete.

Fire destroyed empty houses in two separate incidents at about 2am in 2008. A former staff house on the property was also destroyed by fire in 2007. The incidents led to security being stepped up at the Kimberley Centre. The last patients were discharged in 2006.

Anyone with information on the fire should call Levin police on (06)366 0500 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.

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- Manawatu Standard

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