Boys caught after allegedly lighting fire

By Imran Ali


Police and the public worked in tandem to apprehend two young boys, minutes after they allegedly lit a scrub fire in Whangarei.

While firefighters were battling the blaze at Brunner Terrace in Kamo about 2.30pm yesterday, police and members of the public worked together to track down the 13 and 14-year-old boys, who have since been referred to Youth Aid.

Police community safety officer Troy Netzler praised the assistance provided by residents of Brunner Terrace and Ridgeway Drive, in terms of pointing out the direction the two boys ran towards and their description.

"Without their help, we wouldn't have been able to resolve this in a timely fashion," he said.

Mr Netzler said a female pensioner in Ridgeway Drive first saw the boys running away from the scrub fire.

Upon further inquiries by police, the boys were spoken to and may participate in a fire-prevention course run by the fire service.

The pensioner, who does not wish to be named, said she saw some boys lighting a fire at the same place on Tuesday but decided not to act after neighbours put it out with shovels and spades.

Yesterday, she ran out the front of her driveway to see the direction in which the two boys were running.

Whangarei fire brigade Station Officer Scott Coutts said the fire, aided by a strong breeze, tore through about 100 metres of mostly grass and scrub.

"There was no threat to properties but the biggest danger was the thick smoke going through the [Kamo] bypass that could have been hazardous to motorists."

Meanwhile, Mr Netzler has encouraged those wishing to set up neighbourhood support groups to contact him on 09 470 2733 or email troy.netzler@police.govt.nz.

- NORTHERN ADVOCATE

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