A fire in a Hamilton house, formerly a doctor's surgery, is being treated as suspicious.
Waikato fire safety investigator Kevin Holmes said the Whatawhata Rd home - which sits in between a Z petrol station and the Dinsdale Shopping Centre - was currently unoccupied as the homeowner was staying elsewhere.
The blaze started in the kitchen, at the rear of the house, but smoke was spotted by passersby early on and fire crews were able to get to the scene quickly.
Mr Holmes said the fire damage was limited to the kitchen area but the rest of the house had some smoke, heat and water damage.
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It was initially unclear if anyone was inside the home, a former doctor's premises.
Firefighters had to smash some windows to make their way inside.
A friend of the female occupier said she kept to herself and had cats. "She was very, very shy."
Waikato assistant area commander Daryl Trim last night told the Herald crews initially had trouble making their way around the house due to the large volume of items in the house.
"They have had trouble finding where the fire was. It took them a couple minutes but they found it and got it under control."
There were about six derelict cars parked on the property, which used to belong to the woman's brother who died last year.