Police checking CCTV footage over three couch fires

Dunedin police are trawling through CCTV footage to ascertain who started three separate couch fires in Hyde St yesterday  morning.

Fire and Emergency New Zealand shift manager Dan Reilly said appliances were sent to Hyde St at 12.22am

to extinguish a couch fire in the middle of the street.

They were called to the street again at 3.46am and 5.37am to extinguish fires in the same couch. Fenz reported each incident to police.

A police spokeswoman said officers spoke to an individual following the first fire, but could not prove they were involved.

Officers returned after the second fire and issued a male with a formal warning.

Following the third fire, police again attended, but no action was taken.

"The indication is that it may be the same couch being set on fire in all three jobs."

She said it was not clear whether the culprits were students.

Police were checking CCTV footage of the area to find out more about what happened.

University of Otago deputy proctor Geoff Burns said he was unsure whether students were involved.

He confirmed the number of couch fires being reported in the area was gradually falling.

He said the proctor’s office would follow up today with residents of the street about the incidents.

Mr Reilly said Fenz was disappointed by the culprits’ actions, particularly because it was so windy in the city at the time.

It could have sent hot embers flying, starting fires in other places, he said.

"All three fires are being treated as suspicious.

"These types of fires have a major impact on our resources.

"It’s thankful that we didn’t have any other fire calls waiting while these crews were tied up dealing with these incidents that just don’t need to happen."



Why oh why do they get away with it? Charge them and convict them. This is not 'fun' it is dangerous and destructive behaviour. Don't let students trash our city.

The culprits are not known to be students.