Christchurch firefighters were called to two suspicious fires in abandoned properties within minutes of each other early today.
The first callout was to a house in Peterborough St in the central city about 4.45am, Fire Service southern communications shift manager Andrew Norris said.
"Five minutes later we were called to River Rd in Richmond about 2 kilometres away."
There one flat in a block of four was burning.
Water mains in that area in the residential red zone had been shut down. Even though firefighters took a tanker to the fire they were hampered by a lack of water, Norris said.
Both fires were well alight by the time firefighters arrived. Both were out within an hour.
The blazes were being treated as suspicious, with a fire investigator and police to visit the scenes.
Unfortunately, fires in abandoned Christchurch properties were not uncommon, "but we don't normally get two at once", Norris said.
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