Arson suspected in Matapihi fire

The view of the Matapihi scrub fire from town last Tuesday. Photo: Chris Taylor.

A fire that tore through a homeless person's shelter at Matapihi near the railway tracks last week is believed to have been deliberately lit.

Fire and Emergency NZ fire safety officer John Rewi confirmed to SunLive today that the fire is being treated as suspicious.

Trains were stopped for more than two hours last Tuesday while firefighters dealt with the fire, which spread to scrub near the railway tracks.

Someone had set up several tents at the camp site, but there is no indication if there was anyone at ‘home' when the fire started, says John today.

All three tents burned.

Asked if it was deliberately lit John says: “It certainly looks like it. Fires just don't start on their own, and there was nobody else there. It would appear so.”


There are no comments on this article.

Leave a Comment

You must be logged in to make a comment. Login Now
Opinion Poll

Should the Christmas/New Year school holidays be moved to February when the weather is typically better in NZ?

Yes, that is when I would take my holidays.
No, you never know when there is going to be bad weather.

Bay Today

Looking back from Mount main beach. Photo: Alan Forward.

Send us your photos from around the Bay of Plenty.