Arrest after chimney fire at empty house

An Invercargill man was arrested after a fire at an abandoned house got out of control early this morning.

Senior sergeant Dave Raynes, of Invercargill, said after emergency services were called to the unoccupied Elles Rd property about 3.30am the man was arrested for unlawfully entering a building,

''He's lit a fire in the chimney, and it got a bit big,'' Mr Raynes said.

Damage from the fire was minimal, he said.

The man had been arrested and would either appear in the Invercargill District Court today or be bailed to another address, depending on whether a Justice of the Peace could attend, Mr Raynes said.

A fire communications spokesman said fire crews from the Kingswell station attended the scene, and found a prowler had started a fire in a pile of rubbish.

The fire was out upon their arrival, he said.

Firefighters checked the fire and left the incident with police, he said.

The Southland Times