Arrest for house fire arson
A 23-year-old man was arrested in Stratford last night after an arson attack on an Okaiawa home.
The man was arrested about 8.30pm and spent the night in the cells, New Plymouth Sergeant Bruce Irvine said.
He will appear in the New Plymouth District Court today charged with wilful damage and arson, Irvine said.
Hawera chief fire officer Darryl Fowler said emergency services were called to the property on Katotauru Rd at 8.05pm but by the time they arrived, the fire was already well involved.
He said four appliances attended the blaze, two from Hawera and one each from Okaiawa and Manaia, along with a team of about 18 firefighters.
''It took about an hour to bring it under control,'' Fowler said.
Fowler said water tankers from Hawera and Eltham were called on as part of the effort to put the fire out.
Operational staff were also on the ground to assist with traffic management.
After the blaze was extinguished, a period of time was spent dampening down hot spots.
Fowler said although the blaze appeared to have been deliberately lit, inquiries by police and fire safety officers were ongoing.
''Investigations are continuing into the cause of the fire,'' he said.
Fowler said there were no occupants of the house present at the scene last night but he believed it may have been used as a residential property.
Taranaki Daily News