Volunteer firefighters attempt to put out a fire in
Tiverton St, Palmerston, yesterday afternoon. Photo by Bill
Witnesses led police to two youths alleged to have fled
the scene of a suspicious fire which destroyed two Palmerston
The Fire Service was called to a house fire in Tiverton St.
The flames, fanned by a strong breeze, jumped to an old shed
next door, about 1pm.
Both unoccupied properties were destroyed.
Constable Lesley Eason, of Waikouaiti, praised the witnesses
who contacted emergency services and later led police to two
local youths suspected of lighting the blaze.
''They did a great job,'' Const Eason said.
She confirmed the fire, which was believed to have been
started by an accelerant, was being treated as suspicious.
Palmerston volunteer firefighter Aaron Frederick checks for
hot spots yesterday. Photo by Stephen Jaquiery
Police were also speaking to the youths about another
fire at a Stromness St house after a smashed window and burnt
curtains were discovered at the time of the Tiverton St fire.
''Fortunately, that didn't take,'' she said.
The Stromness St property was part of the same deceased
estate as the Tiverton home.
A witness, who declined to be named, rang 111 after seeing
the Tiverton St home ablaze''I went over to the [sliding
door] and the curtains were falling off it,'' he said.
''When I couldn't see anyone inside because of the smoke I
didn't go anywhere near it''.
A nearby Tiverton St resident said, ''I was asleep and woke
up choking ... I thought it was my house on fire.''
Palmerston station officer Craig McCaw said the home and shed
were well ablaze when firefighters arrived and the Waikouaiti
brigade was called as a back-up.
A fire risk management officer was investigating the cause.