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The man appeared in Timaru District Court on Saturday charged with wilful damage and was remanded in custody to appear again on June 18, a police spokeswoman said.
Crews from the Glenavy Volunteer Fire Brigade, Waimate Volunteer Fire Brigade and the St Andrews Volunteer Fire Brigade attended the fire at Riverside Village off State Highway 1, about 23km north of Oamaru, about 4.20pm.
On the day, Glenavy brigade Deputy Chief Fire Officer Wayne Direen said the house was well ablaze when firefighters arrived, adding police had spoken to someone.
Sergeant Dallas Roberts, of Timaru, said the cause of the blaze was not immediately known, but would be investigated by the Timaru CIB.