Dunedin police are warning that the high-spirited antics of students at parties will end in tragedy, after a couch was set alight and the fire spread to a nearby house.
Officers were dealing with a big party at two addresses in Castle Street just after midnight where several hundred people had spilled out onto the street.
At another house, a couch was set on fire, which quickly spread to the exterior walls. The house had to be evacuated.
Inspector Kelvin Lloyd said it was lucky the fire did not do more damage.
He said it highlighted the dangers of fire-lighting in the student area, and the police wanted to hear from any witnesses.