Police are investigating a suspicious fire in the public toilets at the Gonville Domain yesterday afternoon.

Firefighters were called to the men's toilet block on Alma Rd just before 1pm.

Senior station officer Jamal Weston said youths were seen leaving the scene, and shortly after there was a fire in the toilet block which had started in one of the hand-drying units. Whanganui Police and fire safety officers would be investigating the fire, he said.

"In the men's toilets there was quite a bit of damage," Mr Weston said.

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"It puts those toilets out of action for the short term and its affects the good people of the community."