15 Sep 2011

Police hunt arsonist in North Otago fishing village

1:40 pm on 15 September 2011

Police are searching for an arsonist in a North Otago fishing village after two fires in a week destroyed holiday houses.

Fire gutted an unoccupied two-storey crib in Moeraki early Wednesday morning.

Another crib on the same street was destroyed a week ago.

Fire Service southern safety officer Barry Gibson says the first fire was lit outside the house and the latest blaze may also be suspicious.

Mr Gibson says people in Moeraki should remove anything that can be set alight from the front of their properties and report any suspicious behaviour.

Fleur Sullivan, who runs the town's restaurant, Fleur's Place, says people were shocked when they heard the first fire was arson, and did not sleep well on Wednesday night worrying it might happen a third time.

Ms Sullivan says no one has seen anything suspicious but people are being very watchful.