Investigations launched following two suspicious fires within an hour in New Plymouth
Investigations are underway into two suspicious fires that started within an hour of each other just a few blocks apart.
The New Plymouth fire service was called to the first incident behind the closed Bubble Waffle building on Devon St around 7:40 on Friday night, where two wheelie bins were alight.
Then at 8:20, they were called to a fire at the Stonebaths building on Ariki St behind the Puke Ariki library.
"We haven't done a full investigation yet but what we've found is...some of the stock behind the shop was on fire and it had broken through a window and it looks like it's gone into the building at this stage," Senior station officer Steve Dombroski said.
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Both fires were being treated as suspicious and police were at the scene of both fires.
"We won't draw any conclusions until a proper investigation is carried out," he said.
"We'll get an investigator down but the police will be involved as well."
He said the effort to save the Stonebaths shop was "a good save".
"The main shop itself is all intact, it's just the back room where its broken into, it's damaged, fortunately there's not too much stock back there," he said.
"It's been a good save anyway, the crews got in there quickly and managed to extinguish it quickly before it spread any further, a really good save."
Three fire trucks, including one from the New Plymouth West station, were called to the fire
The fire drew a crowd of onlookers are firefighters used breathing masks to enter the smoke filled building.
"There was smoke right through this, we use a positive pressure fan to remove smoke and help the firefighters get in there," Dombroski said.
"It's blowing air in, you wouldn't think you would do that to a fire but it's good if you've got an outlet."
On an unrelated incident, smoke was spotted in the hills above the Eastern Institute of Technology Campus in Taradale, on the outskirts of Napier.
A Central Fire Communications spokesman said a caller saw some smoke and fire crews were trying to determine the best way to access the source of it about 8.40pm.
It appeared by 9pm there was no fire in the area.