Spate of suspicious fires
A central Christchurch house was the target of two arson attacks on the same day, the Fire Service suspects.
Fire crews were yesterday called to a fire at an empty Hereford St property, near the central-city cordon, at about 4.30pm and then again at about 9pm.
Deputy chief fire officer Dave Burford said the blaze was being treated as suspicious.
''They didn't make a good job of it because we put it out and they came back,'' he said.
''It tied up three or four of our pumps, so it's serious to us.''
The fire follows a suspected arson in Pines Beach yesterday morning.
Two fire crews from Kaiapoi, backed up by crews from the Woodend and Pine Beach rural brigades, arrived to find a fully developed house fire which was threatening a rear neighboring property.
Firefighters wearing breathing apparatus tackled the blaze and bought the intense fire under control within 20 minutes, managing to save the rear property.
Kaiapoi Senior Station Officer Tristan Roberts said the fire service and police were still investigating the cause of the fire, however it was being treated as suspicious at this stage and a police scene guard remains in place.
"This is the third suspicious house fire in the area in the past few weeks and it is quite a concerning pattern that appears to be emerging" he said.
"These types of fires not only have the potential to threaten neighboring property but there is also a high risk to life to both residents and Firefighters who lives are unnecessarily placed at risk.
"We would just like to remind people and residents of the area to be vigilant and certainly if they see any suspicious activity to report that through to police, obviously if they see any fires, to immediately dial 111 and ask for fire."