Two Christchurch houses set on fire

NICOLE MATHEWSON
Last updated 09:08 29/07/2013

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Suspicious fires have claimed another two houses in Christchurch over the weekend.

A Fire Service spokeswoman said a fire safety officer was sent to investigate two suspicious fires that happened on Saturday night.

The first happened at Meadowville Ave, Spreydon, about 6.50pm and appeared to be deliberately lit, she said.

The second fire happened less than three hours later at a red-zoned house in Aranui, with firefighters finding the fire at the Falconwood Gr home "going well" when they arrived about 9.40pm.

The blaze had "looked suspicious" and scene guards were placed outside both homes overnight until a fire safety officer was able to start investigating yesterday.

The spokeswoman did not know if either home was being lived in at the time of the fires.

The incidents are the latest in a spate of "opportunist" fires in the city over the last few weeks.

A fire was reported last Wednesday in Buckleys Rd, Linwood, at 12.30am, followed by a blaze at a house in Aldershot St, Aranui about 10.45am.

Detective Inspector Greg Murton said last week that the number of reported arsons across the city was not higher than normal.

There had been just over 60 suspicious fires in Christchurch over the last three months and they did not follow a pattern.

"The majority of incidents appear to be opportunist fires. We're confident we are not dealing with a firebug or serial arsonist."

Other recent fires included:

A River Rd house about 1.55am on Tuesday.

A Marine Pde garage about 11.45pm on July 22.

A two-storey vacated Wainoni Rd, Avondale house about 5am on July 20.

Birchfield Ave about 6.15pm on July 17. Aaron James Swan, 28, has been charged with the arson and was remanded by the Christchurch District Court last week to a later date.

A Salisbury St house about 2pm on July 16.

An Ebbitide St house about 12.20am on July 13.

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