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Patrols continues in Piha after fires

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 7/05/2017

Police say they've been flooded with tips from residents in the beachside community of Piha as a hunt continues for a possible arsonist in the area.

Two scrub fires broke out at settlement on Auckland's west coast at about 2am on Sunday as the Fire Service was attending a third suspicious blaze that damaged nearby fish and chip shop Adey's Place.

At the peak, about 90 firefighters were at the scene, with more than seven hectares of scrub being torn through by daylight and 20 homes threatened.

There was a heavy police presence in the area overnight and police said officers were still guarding the store on Monday.

"The Piha community is a tight knit community and police have received an overwhelming response from the public coming forward with information," Inspector Scott Webb said.

Scene and forensic examinations were under way on Monday.

The fires followed several others at Piha earlier in the month.

Residents say they've been left angry and on edge as they and fire crews brace for the possibility of further blazes in the area.

"From the community there is anger, fear and uncertainty until whoever is responsible is found," resident Susannah Fougere-Hardy told Radio NZ.

"It feels like we've been attacked".

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