Suspicious blazes in home and bookstore

AARON LEAMAN
Last updated 08:15 03/12/2012

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A man has been referred to mental health services after a fire at a Hot Water Beach holiday home on Saturday.

Police were called to a Radar Rd house about 5.25pm after neighbours reported sounds of breaking glass and arrived to find a fire in an attached unit.

A man was taken into custody before being referred to mental health services.

Whitianga police Senior Constable Pat Doak said it was not yet known whether the arrested man would face any charges.

"At the end of the day the homeowners had done everything possible to secure the house. It was alarmed and secure, but unfortunately this person was in such a state of mind that he wanted to get in."

Waikato fire safety officer Kevin Holmes said damage from the fire was minimal as police officers were able to extinguish the blaze when they arrived.

One appliance from Hahei attended the fire.

Meanwhile, Mr Holmes was also called to a suspicious fire behind a Te Aroha bookstore on Church St about 4.50am yesterday. Mr Holmes said a fire was lit among some wooden pellets behind the building and had caused extensive smoke damage to the store.

"When the brigade arrived the fire was just starting to spread into the building. The smoke, however, had got into the building through a couple of extractor fans and a broken window and the bookshop was completely smoke-logged.

"There was a lot of smoke damage to the stock inside."

Mr Holmes said businesses and building owners had to be mindful not to leave cardboard or wood stacked up outside their buildings.

"Anything combustible shouldn't be left outside against a building where it's accessible to anybody wandering around. If rubbish is stored in bins, they should be kept secure and well away from the building. I've seen in the past where items outside a building have been set fire to and it's caused a horrendous amount of damage to the building."

Police are investigating the blaze.

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- Waikato Times

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