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Christchurch Police are investigating a series of four car fires which occurred around Christchurch overnight. This follows on from two nights last week when several cars were set ablaze.
Given the nature of the fires and the serious risk they pose to the public and emergency services, the investigation has intensified to identify the offenders.
The first fire in the latest series occurred at 10.25 pm in Lyttelton. This was followed by fires at 10.53 pm, 11.09 pm and 11.19 pm at Mt Pleasant, Edgeware and Avondale respectively. To date there have been 14 car fires which Police believe are linked.
Detective Senior Sergeant Grant Wormald of the Christchurch Police states that these fires have the potential to cause major property damage and, indeed, danger to life.
"We are working closely with the Fire Service who are clearly concerned that their resources could be involved in fighting an intentional car fire when they receive calls for assistance in what could be a life threatening situation," he says.
Detective Senior Sergeant Wormald further states that investigations to date have confirmed that at least two people were involved in lighting some of the fires last week, as both they and a car were seen leaving the scene of one of the fires. He believes there will be people in the community who know about the fires and who is lighting them.
"I urge anyone who has any information about who is lighting these fires to contact the Police at the Christchurch Central Police Station, 3637400."
Detective Senior Sergeant Wormald also believes it is possible that video footage of these fires or comments about them could be appearing on social networking sites on the internet, such as Bebo, and he asks that if anyone identifies such information, they contact the Police.
A joint media conference with Detective Senior Sergeant Wormald and the District's Chief Fire Officer, Dan Coward, will be held at the Christchurch Central Police Station at 3.30 pm today to answer any questions