Home torched in suspicious late-night fire in tiny Southland settlement

Police are investigating a suspicious fire that badly damaged a house in the tiny Southland settlement of Waikaia.

Detective Sergeant Brian McKinney said emergency services were called to the blaze on Elswick Street just after midnight on Tuesday.

"Thankfully nobody was injured, but the house sustained extensive damage," he said.

Police wanted to speak to anyone who may have observed anything suspicious in the area leading up to or immediately after the fire.

"While we are following several lines of enquiry, it’s possible someone has seen or heard something that could assist our investigation," he said.

Police were carrying out reassurance patrols in the area.

People could contact police by calling 105, or making a report online at 105.police.govt.nz, clicking Update Report.

The file number was 240222/8704.