Suspicious blaze at unoccupied house
Queenstown police are appealing for witnesses to a suspicious house fire which destroyed the upper storey of a property in Glasgow St early on Saturday morning.
No-one was injured in the blaze.
Several neighbours, who were woken by the noise of the fire, called emergency services at 5.50am.
Detective Sergeant Brian Cameron, of Queenstown, said a joint Fire Service and police investigation into the cause of the blaze was launched on Saturday.
"As the property appears to have been unoccupied for some time, the fire was being viewed as potentially suspicious," he said.
Three trucks from Queenstown and one from Frankton arrived to find the house "well ablaze". Initial thoughts were that someone was trapped in the house, but the fire was quickly extinguished and no-one was found to be inside.
Queenstown deputy fire chief Terry O'Connell said the property's top floor had been burnt out.
Neighbour Ana Plaza, who was sleeping in her bedroom metres from the fire, said the experience was frightening.
"I heard the noises and wondered where it was coming from, it was very noisy.
"We were worried about our house because we saw the fire so close," she said.
Ms Plaza said she and her two flatmates grabbed their passports, wallets and a dog she was looking after and fled as the flames leapt a couple of metres from their house.
Thompson St resident Hannah O'Donoghue lives around the corner from the property and said she had been woken by her flatmate.
Police were yet to speak to the overseas-based owner, Mr Cameron said.
Anyone who saw or heard anything prior to emergency services being alerted at 5.50am should contact Queenstown police.
- © Fairfax NZ News
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