Police suspect at least 15 fires in Piha arson case

5:23 pm on 9 May 2017

An arsonist who torched an iconic fish and chip shop in Piha, near Auckland, might be responsible for at least 15 fires in the seaside town over the last week, police say.

Adey's Place fish and chip shop in Piha.

Photo: RNZ / Anusha Bradley

The Adey's Place takeaway shop was gutted by a deliberately-lit fire early on Sunday morning, while two scrub fires that same night kept firefighters busy over the weekend.

Several more scrub fires were lit in the days before.

Waitakere Police Area Commander Inspector Scott Webb said they still did not know who was responsible or if it was just one person, but they were following several "positive lines of inquiry".

"We've talked to a significant number of people, but we are keeping an open mind," he said.

Police were going door to door and upping patrols in the area overnight and the public had provided a constant stream of "valuable information", he said.

A forensic scene examination of Adey's Place was delayed until this afternoon because the shop was found to be contaminated with asbestos.

It was hoped forensic evidence recovered from the shop might provide more clues on who was responsible.

"We appreciate the community is understandably upset and police are determined to hold the person/s who is responsible for these fires to account," police said in a statement.

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