A Nelson pub has been badly damaged in a suspicious fire in the early hours of this morning.
The Fire Service received multiple calls to a blaze which torched the Rising Sun Tavern on Waimea St.
Communications shift manager Rewi Grace said it was suspicious although it was too early to say why.
"Fire Safety are still down there this morning investigating."
He said the blaze took several fire crews three hours to put out.
"We received the calls at 12.45am and we initially thought it was the petrol station. We arrived at 12.50 and thankfully it wasn't the station, but the pub was well involved."
Grace said the Nelson Fire Service had to call for backup from another Nelson crew as well as two volunteer crews from Richmond and Stoke.
Police would not confirm whether a number of burglaries had also happened in the area at the time.
Should residents do more to help maintain the city's parks and reserves?Related story: Christchurch citizens to mow parks?