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Firebug fear in Napier

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Fire authorities fear an arsonist is at work in central Napier after a fire in a high-rise building became the fourth suspicious fire in two weeks. In the latest fire, a pile of rubbish was set alight in an alleyway next to the four-storey Vero complex in Tennyson St, which houses mainly offices.

The 3.15am fire shattered glass windows and damaged a ground-floor storage room of The Linen Cupboard store. The store is thought to have suffered tens of thousands of dollars’ of damage.

Firefighters put out the fire within minutes, but the flames had crept up the side of the building.

Napier senior station officer Paul Kale said the fire was a recipe for disaster and the whole building could have been engulfed.

The fire was deliberate and dangerously close to a gas main, he said.

Any fire starting at the ground level of a high-rise building would go “up and up” and be hard to control.

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