'Suspicious' fires in eastern suburbs

Christchurch police are investigating two suspicious fires in the eastern suburbs overnight.

Two fire engines from the Kilmore St station rushed to a blaze inside a red-zoned Retreat Rd residential property, in Avonside, about 8.15pm after a security guard in the area alerted emergency services.

"On arrival we found a small fire in the lounge of the property which we extinguished with no problem," a fire service spokesman said.

He said it appeared the house was unoccupied at the time.

"This fire is being treated as suspicious and police are now looking into it."

Senior Sergeant Stephen McDaniel said a scene guard was at the property overnight, with police and fire safety officers expected to investigate the scene today.

He said a suspicious vehicle was spotted in the area at the time of the blaze, but details of the vehicle are still yet to be established.

Meanwhile, firefighters from New Brighton and Wainoni were called to Aldershot St, Aranui, where a car was set alight about 2.40am today.

A spokesman said it was initially thought to be threatening a nearby home, but on arrival it posed no threat.

Police have also deemed the incident suspicious and will be investigating today.

The Press