Police hunt two vehicles after suspicious Southland fire

All that remains of a suspicious house fire in Waikaia is part of the garage and a lean-to which...
All that remains of a suspicious house fire in Waikaia is part of the garage and a lean-to which housed a Land Rover. PHOTO: SANDY EGGLESTON
Police investigating a suspicious house fire in Waikaia, Southland are seeking sightings of two vehicles of interest.

Emergency services were called to the Elswick St property just after midnight on Wednesday last week.

While nobody was injured, the unoccupied house sustained extensive damage.

Detective Sergeant Brian McKinney said investigators want to hear from anyone who saw either a red vehicle, or a dark-coloured twin-cab ute that was towing a trailer.

Both vehicles were seen in the vicinity of Elswick St shortly after the property was set alight.

The red vehicle was seen leaving Elswick St and heading at speed towards Riversdale, Det Sgt McKinney said.

"We would like to hear from anyone who saw vehicles matching those descriptions either prior to, or after the fire."

Waikaia woman Krystal Turnbull told the Otago Daily Times she discovered the fire as she was driving home about midnight.

As she crossed the bridge on the outskirts of the town she could see a car with its headlights on full coming towards her, she said.

The driver of the vehicle dipped the lights just before it went past her and shortly afterwards she saw the fire.

"You could just see the glow in the background and a wee bit of flames shooting up from the back," Ms Turnbull said.

The brigade members managed to save a Land Rover in a lean-to beside the garage but there was not much left of the house and garage.

"The vehicles in the garage were lost."

The fact investigators deemed the fire to be suspicious was "doubly sad".

"You hate to think somebody has a reason to burn somebody’s house down."

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