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Suspicious fire hits community centre

NZ NewswireNZ Newswire 6/06/2016

© Twitter/Newstalk ZB A fire has torn through a historic building in Christchurch.

The 152-year-old Risingholme caught fire on Monday evening, the flames ripping through the wooden building and eight fire crews were needed to battle the blaze.

The building, home to the Risingholme Community Centre, has been closed and boarded up since the Christchurch earthquakes.

Firefighters were still at the scene on Tuesday morning before investigators will try to determine the cause, says Fire Service southern communications manager Brent Dunn.

The fire was initially being treated as suspicious and police were involved, he said.

Risingholme, a category 2 historic place, was built in 1864 by William and Mary Reeves, the parents of politician, poet and historian William Pember Reeves.

It was gifted to the city and became a community centre in 1944.

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