A massive blaze at a Palmerston North scrap yard has been deemed suspicious and could be connected to several other fires.
Fire investigators were exploring the possible links to other conflagrations in the area within the past few months, including a house fire only five days ago.
Fire and Emergency New Zealand Area Commander Mitchell Brown said investigators were focused on the circumstances of the fire at Molten Metals in Kelvin Grove Rd, particularly the possible ignition source, processes the day before, and the origin of the fire.
"This has narrowed down the line of discussion and will now be under the investigation of both Fire and Emergency and the police."
Brown said officers would be looking at security footage from surrounding businesses as well as conducting a thorough review the other fires in the area.
"There may be a connection, but it may be coincidental. For now we remain neutral," he said.
"There is always an investigation after these things. We will put all the cards on the table, eliminate, assess and come up with the most probable cause. At this point it is certainly suspicious."
The area was a former fuel storage space for Mobil, however Brown said there was no connection to this event.
"The premises are purpose built. It is a huge concrete pad with containment areas and systems for catching oil and run off.
"We believe that was a key factor to our success actually, they have very good business practice.
"In these sort of scenarios the nightmare for us is usually very large stacks [of cars] that are incredibly hard to get apart and dampen down.
"This company have kept to lots of small stacks that are all separated, so this made it incredibly easy to contain the fire from spreading."
Brown said crews attended from all over the region to assist, including the Linton defence career firefighters and utility vehicles from Ohakea Airbase.
"What it really talks to is the new Fire and Emergency organisation. It's a new way of thinking and has a real impact on the community when we can pull in staff from surrounding areas," Brown said.
"We had staff from Palmerston North, two crews from Wanganui and volunteer crews from Ashhurst, Rongotea and Bunnythorpe. All these resources from all over Wanganui and Manawatu made the job much more seamless under the power of the new organisation."
Crews were still onsite on Thursday afternoon and would continue for several more hours.
"They are working with an excavator, pulling the stacks apart, hosing down, pulling apart, hosing down," Brown said.
"It's time consuming, but otherwise all is back to normal."