Witnesses sought after couch burning spreads to house


A couch fire that spread to the weatherboard of a house in Dunedin overnight is being investigated by police.

The incident which occurred at around 12:10am on Castle St was connected to a large house party involving several hundred people which had spilt out onto the road.

Police initially attended the scene to contain the crowd, but then noticed flames at the rear of the address and investigated, before finding the burning couch had spread into the exterior of the house it was next to.

The occupants of the property were then woken and evacuated and police worked to put out the blaze while the Fire Service was called.

While only minor damage was caused by the fire, Inspector Kelvin Lloyd says it was a lucky escape.

"This incident highlighted the dangers associated with the fire lighting issue in the student area," says Insp Lloyd.

"This is exactly the type of case we have been trying to prevent through the consistent and ongoing messaging of Police, Fire and the University."

These sorts of actions contribute to the culture of the area and create genuine risk of a real tragedy occurring at some point, added Insp Lloyd.

Anybody with information regarding the fire is asked to come forward to police immediately.