Suspicious fire in Southland hotel

10:44, May 20 2012

A fire in a toilet of a Southland hotel is is being treated as arson.

The fire was reported at 11.10am yesterday at Falls Hotel on Main Street in Mataura. It was contained to the men's toilets where a toilet roll holder was ablaze. Three fire engines, from Mataura and Gore, attended the fire and the blaze took more than an hour to extinguish the flames.

Mataura Licensing Trust systems development manager, Mark Paterson, said the fire was being treated as arson and patrons were drinking in the adjoining public bar when the fire was started.

The public bar remains closed until further investigations are undertaken.

A house in Invercargill South was well ablaze when the Kingswell fire brigade were called at 3.15am today to 30 Dundee Place, in Strathern. The unoccupied house was gutted and the intense heat melted corrugated plastic on a neighbouring house.

Specialist fire investigator Michael Cahill said while there was nobody inside the house, they had not yet determined if the fire was suspicious.

The blaze started at the front and he had been told the occupant had moved into the rental on Saturday afternoon.

The third weekend blaze engulfed an Invercargill home on Friday night and was thought to have started in the vicinity of a bedroom light switch. It was not being treated as suspicious.

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