Rebecca Quilliam is senior reporter at the NZME. News Service office in Wellington.

Gang members hinder police after fire

Photo / File
Photo / File

Gang members hindered emergency staff who were searching for a missing person following a house fire in Whangarei overnight.

Police and fire crews were called to the William Jones Drive property in Otangerei about 1.20am.

The house and a car were "well involved" when fire crews arrived, northern fire communications shift manager Paul Radden said.

There were reports of a person inside the home, but an initial search was unsuccessful.

Mr Radden said a further search in daylight also found no sign of a person, so it was believed there was nobody home.

Police said they were hindered by the actions of gang members attending a party at a nearby address.

An attempt was made to break into a police car attending the scene.

Whangarei CIB and a fire investigator were investigating the cause of the fire.


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