Fire crews work on two Palmerston North building blazes in early morning
Firefighters scrambled to put out two damaging and suspicious building fires in Palmerston North.
The first emergency call came in at 2.50am on Saturday, to a house fire in Ranfurly St, near the central city.
"It was well alight when the Palmerston North crew arrived. It was quite badly damaged," Fire and Emergency Service spokesman David Meikle said.
Three fire crews had worked on the fire. No-one was injured.
Palmerston North senior fire station officer Ian Penn said the incident was being treated as suspicious because the house was unoccupied.
Neighbour Bowen Milner said he was woken up by a "loud roaring" noise, and he and flatmates rushed out to move their cars away from the boundary fence.
"It got pretty bad ... it was a little bit scary. The firemen were still there till 7 or 8am this morning."
It was the second recent fire at the next door house. The earlier one started at the back of the building on June 26, and caused charring to exterior weatherboards.
He believed the house had been unoccupied all year, and the earlier fire had been spotted by another neighbour and put out by firefighters before it took hold badly.
The second 111 call on Saturday morning was at 5.50am, for a garage fire in Apollo Pd, Milson, that was also well alight when firefighters arrived.
The garage was a "stand-alone" building, but was also badly damaged, Meikle said.
"We had one unit go from Milson, and one from Bunnythorpe that were in the city covering Palmerston North", because central city crews were still tied up at the Ranfurly St house fire, Meikle said.
"We always have plenty of cover, but two calls in one night would have kept them going."
Penn said the garage fire was also being treated as suspicious. Both sites were to be examined by a fire service investigator.
Police said no further information about the fires was available while the investigation was underway.