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The Oamaru Charity Shop’s large green wheelie bin caught fire on Wednesday night, burning clothing, toys, household items, cardboard and the bin.
All that remained of the bin were its wheels and a partial lid, while other burnt items lay in front of the shop, in Coquet St.
Shop manager Bonnie McLellan said the bin was full when it was damaged, and the incident was a "real nuisance".
The destroyed items could not be removed until a new bin arrived, which could take until Monday.
"I can’t clean it up. I’ve got nowhere to put it — I’ve got somebody with a shovel ready to come down as soon as the bin arrives," she said.
She described the response from emergency services as "excellent".
A Fire and Emergency New Zealand spokesman said an Oamaru crew attended the blaze at 10.47pm and reported it as suspicious to police shortly after.
A police spokeswoman said inquiries into the fire’s cause were ongoing.