21 Jan 2018

Spate of suspicious fires in Canterbury

10:01 am on 21 January 2018

A former church is destroyed and firefighters are continuing to battle a hedge blaze after a spate of suspicious fires in Canterbury overnight.

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Photo: RNZ / Claire Eastham-Farrelly

The small former church building on the Methven Highway, near Ashburton, was fully engulfed by the time Fire and Emergency arrived on the scene shortly before midnight.

It took until 2am to completely extinguish the fire, which is being treated as suspicious.

Two letterboxes in the area were also set alight around the same time.

And just before 7am, firefighters were called to a hedge fire nearby.

The 40-metre-long hedge was well ablaze.

Police and fire investigators are on both scenes.