Police guard the scene of ‘potentially suspicious’ Waitara house fire


Police guarded the scene of the Waitara house, which was damaged in a suspicious fire, on Friday.

ANDY JACKSON/STUFF

Police guarded the scene of the Waitara house, which was damaged in a suspicious fire, on Friday.

An early morning house fire in North Taranaki is being treated as suspicious.

Fire crews were called to Stafford St, Waitara, around 3am on Friday after a neighbour called to alert them to a house fire.

New Plymouth station officer Maurice Kemsley said two Waitara volunteer crews arrived not long after the call and a section of the house was up in flames.

One New Plymouth crew was also called out.

READ MORE: Police and fire investigator at scene of Hāwera house fire

Kemsley said by the time they got there Waitara crews had been working for a while.

“It was confined to a room at the back of the house. It took them about 15 minutes to bring under control,” he said.

It took a further hour to dampen down hot spots.

A search was carried out on the house and no one was inside.

There was also a house fire in Hāwera 24 hours before the Waitara one.

CATHERINE GROENESTEIN/STUFF

There was also a house fire in Hāwera 24 hours before the Waitara one.

Police put a scene guard in place overnight and Kemsley said Fire and Emergency New Zealand and police would be investigating in the light of day.

A police media spokeswoman confirmed the fire was “potentially suspicious”.

It was the second house fire in Taranaki in 24 hours.

On Thursday morning, it took 36 staff to put out a house fire in Hāwera.

Crews were called back to the Vogel St home on Thursday evening as smoke was coming out of the roof, as well as fire in two different areas, and two crews worked to deal with the flames.

By Friday morning, Fire and Emergency New Zealand specialist fire investigator Andrew Cotter said he’d determined it was an electrical fire that started in the Hāwera home’s roof.

Meanwhile, crews were also called to a bus fire in Waitara on Thursday evening.

A Fire and Emergency New Zealand spokesman said they were called to the scene on Waitara Rd, Brixton, about 5.30pm.

Waitara and New Plymouth crews responded to the fire, which was fully involved, and it was extinguished at 6pm.

There was no indication of injuries, the spokesman said.



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