Fire burns house, melts wheelie bins
An investigation into the cause of a Christchurch house fire has started.
The fire was reported at a flat at the intersection of Hereford St and Stanmore Rd, Linwood, about 3.30am today.
A Fire Service spokeswoman said two fire crews from the Christchurch central station found it "well involved" on arrival.
They called for a third pump to help as the fire had spread into the ceiling, she said.
The flat's occupant had gone away the day before the fire, which was noticed by the occupants of an adjoining flat.
They were able to escape unharmed, but were unlikely to be able to return to the damaged rental property.
Detective Nigel Thomson said the cause of the fire was still being determined, and police would review security-camera footage from a nearby property.
The fire was believed to have started in a sleepout at the back of the house, spreading up a wall and throughout the roof space.
There was little smoke damage inside, but firefighters had been forced to bust a hole through the lounge ceiling to fight the fire from inside.
The fire burnt through half of the back fence and melted the sides of the property's wheelie bins.
A neighbour, who did not want to be named, said four units next door, including hers, were evacuated for about an hour while firefighters worked to get the blaze under control.
"All the wiring in the roof was popping all over. It was quite scary. There were police and fire brigade everywhere," she said
The flat had been the subject of regular police attention over the past three months, with a lot of "fighting and arguing" happening.
"It's never dull around here," she said.
She believed only one person lived at the flat, but there were "always visitors" who were often drinking and playing loud music into the night.
A few days ago, she had heard a person yell during an argument that they were going to burn down the house.
"To be perfectly honest, they won't be missed. I'm glad nobody got hurt, of course," she said.
- © Fairfax NZ News
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