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Emergency services were called to Art Fun Wear about 3am on Thursday after cardboard boxes outside the shop were set on fire.
A change in pick-up times for the shop’s packing boxes meant the cardboard was left outside on Wednesday night, Art Fun Wear manager Heidi Qu said.
A Fire and Emergency New Zealand spokesman said three appliances attended a "rubbish fire" next to the building.
The building had caught fire when crews arrived, and the "suspicious" fire was extinguished with high-pressure hoses, he said.
• Invercargill police (03) 211 0404.
- Sharon Reece