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Man arrested over Piha fires

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 11/05/2017

A man has been arrested following a spate of fires in Piha over the weekend.

The 19-year-old Piha resident was arrested in Tauranga on Thursday morning and faces three arson charges and one of burglary.

A number of scrub fires broke out at the settlement on Auckland's west coast on Saturday night and Sunday morning, leading to about 90 firefighters being called out.

Along with one house being evacuated and 20 others threatened, popular fish and chip store Adey's Place was gutted.

The man will be appearing in the Tauranga District Court on Friday.

Two of the arson charges he faces related to the blazes at Piha, while a third is over a separate fire in central Auckland.

Police say they're still investigating a series of other fires in the area and have not ruled out further charges. No one else is being sought.

"Piha is a tight knit community and we understand this has been a stressful time for residents," Inspector Scott Webb said.

"We have received an overwhelming response from local residents and the wider public who have come forward with information."

A Givealittle page was established to raise funds to help cover any immediate costs of the damages and to provide financial support to the owners and staff of Adey's Place.

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