Four fires in Levin puts po­lice on alert

Horowhenua Chronicle - - NEWS -

A spate of de­lib­er­ately lit fires has Levin po­lice urg­ing peo­ple to be vig­i­lant and re­port any sus­pi­cious be­hav­iour.

While the fires — one claimed an old church — have po­lice on high alert, they said there was noth­ing to sug­gest they were linked and were the work of a se­rial ar­son­ist.

Po­lice were in­ves­ti­gat­ing a host of po­ten­tially de­lib­er­ately lit fires in the Levin area which have oc­curred over the last three months.

Some fires were mi­nor rub­bish bins de­lib­er­ately lit, while oth­ers had claimed a house, garage and church.

“Although there’s been a num­ber of fires over this pe­riod, there is noth­ing to sug­gest these fires are linked or there is only one per­son re­spon­si­ble,” it said.

The most re­cent fire claimed an old church build­ing on Liver­pool St in the early hours of De­cem­ber 29 last year, and also caused dam­age to the neigh­bour­ing house.

Ex­tra po­lice units were sent to the area and in­quiries are on­go­ing.

Church mem­ber Mark Parker said new alarms at the church meant when­ever they were ac­ti­vated the se­cu­rity com­pany would ring him as he lived on the same street.

He took a call at 1.45am telling him of “mul­ti­ple alarm ac­ti­va­tions”. He said it took four min­utes to go to the toi­let and put some pants on and rush out the gate.

He could see by the red glow down the street that it was no false alarm as the old church was al­ready an in­ferno.

Mr Parker said he raced around to Pas­tor Paul White’s house, which was just around the cor­ner, and woke him up.

“By the time we got there 20 to 30 peo­ple were there,” he said.

Levin fire chief Lind­say Walker said ar­son was hard to de­tect, which was why it was im­por­tant that peo­ple were vig­i­lant and re­ported any sus­pi­cious be­hav­iour to po­lice.

Po­lice ask the pub­lic to be vig­i­lant and re­port any sus­pi­cious ac­tiv­ity by ring­ing Levin po­lice on (06) 366- 0500 or call­ing Crimestop­pers anony­mously on 0800 555 111.

Fire Ser­vice of­fi­cers sur­vey the dam­age done to the Liver­pool St, Levin, church build­ing which also dam­aged a neigh­bour­ing house.

PHO­TOS / DAR­RYL BUT­LER

Dam­age done by a fire at a Levin church com­plex that hap­pened over the hol­i­day pe­riod.

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