Historic church razed
A 130-year-old church has burned to the ground in Western Southland.
Nightcaps chief fire officer Mark Marnane said fire appliances from Nightcaps and Otautau were called just before 11pm yesterday and the wooden church was well alight on arrival.
The 130-year-old red-roofed church, on farmland in Wairio, 3km south of Nightcaps, was empty and did not have a power supply, he said.
The fire service spent two hours protecting nearby hedges from the burning church and left at 1.30am.
The cause of the fire was unknown, but seemed suspicious, he said.
The Southland Times