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Invercargill police are speaking with a 39-year-old tenant from the rented house in Ettrick St, Invercargill, which was destroyed by fire on Tuesday evening.
Three men lived in the wooden house and lost all their possessions.
Detective Sergeant Mark McCloy said yesterday the fire was being treated as suspicious. He would not say whether the man had been charged with an offence, or would be charged.
Firefighters were called to the fire about 5.40pm. Dozens of onlookers gathered as the old wooden house burned furiously.
At first there were concerns people might have been in the house, but later in the evening it was confirmed all occupants were safe and uninjured.
Yesterday morning fire investigator Mike Cahill and police officers, including a photographer, spent several hours at the scene.
Roofing iron, spouting, weatherboards and items from inside the house littered the driveway. They included bedding, a bicycle and a gas heater and two lpg bottles. Various people visited the property, including the owner. He declined to be interviewed.
A man accompanying him said the house ‘‘belonged to the insurance company now''.
Det Sgt McCloy said police were speaking to several witnesses and asked anyone with information to phone the Invercargill police station, (03) 211-0400, or Crimestoppers, 0800-555-111.