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Possible arson in Featherston

A house on Wakefield St, Featherston was extensively damaged in a fire yesterday morning. Police are treating the fire as suspicious. PHOTO/MARCUS ANSELM

Police are investigating a potential arson which extensively damaged a Featherston home early yesterday morning.

The fire at a Wakefield St address at 1am took several hours to bring under control and dampen down.

The house was empty at the time however the Featherston community has supported the family who normally live at the home via social media with offers of help and accommodation.

Tim Rees, one of the firefighters at the scene, said the blaze was “well involved” when emergency services arrived.

“The fire damage is substantial. It’s not repairable in its current state.”

He said the house’s tiled roof presented problems for the firefighters.

“It’s a 1950s kind of dwelling, and the roof was made of concrete tiles, the old type.”

Two fire trucks from Featherston were supported by crews from Greytown, Martinborough and Remutaka.

Further help was sent from Lower Hutt to provide breathing apparatus and a Bronto aerial truck.

The Bronto, which has a telescopic platform, was needed to calm the fire from above, through a hole it made in the roof.

Rees said it was required because the falling tiles made access even more dangerous.

“Because of the hole in the roof, due to the tiles falling in, we went in from the top and got plenty of water into the property.

“There were concrete tiles and they were falling in at that time when we were there, so we weren’t going to commit the crew to that under any circumstance.

“We were using low pressure delivery hoses, but we needed to get into the top, so that appliance was ideal for that, and fit for purpose.”

Detective Sergeant Bill van Woerkom said, “A fire investigation is still in its early stages, and the house was extensively damaged. Police are still investigating the fire and we are treating it as suspicious.”

A fire investigation specialist inspected the scene yesterday morning.

  • Police are asking anyone with further information to contact Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111 or go online at crimestoppers-nz.org.


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