5:16pm 10 May 2009 - Coromandel Police are urging people to stay away from the scene of a suspicious fire that destroyed a historic but vacant commercial building in the town early this morning.
Constable Peter Easton of the Coromandel Police said emergency services were called to the scene of the fire, at the old Moehau Tea Rooms on Wharf Rd, about 2.50am.
"On their arrival they found the building, which has been vacant for about 5-7 years, well ablaze.
"To their credit the firefighters were able to contain the fire from spreading to neighbouring buildings however the tea rooms were almost completely destroyed."
A fire investigator from Tauranga arrived at the scene to look into the cause of the blaze and he was joined from Thames based detectives.
A report on their findings is yet to be completed however Police can confirm the fire is being treated as suspicious and their inquiries are continuing into finding who was responsible.
Anyone with information on the fire is asked to contact either the Coromandel Police on 07 866 1190 or the Thames Police on 07 867 9600.
"Due to the instability of the site we're urging people to steer well away from the building as sections of what remains could collapse at any time," said Mr Easton