A spate of suspicious fires lit simultaneously in Waihī on Saturday has raised fears there could be more than one firebug on the loose.
Waihī Fire Brigade chief fire officer Moe Stevens said two trucks and about 15 firefighters attended four separate fires at Waihī College on Saturday afternoon at about 4pm.
Two sheds including one that had horticulture equipment and a tractor inside had been set alight as well as a classroom and a bench.
The flames were ''up and running but we got there before they could take hold'', he said.
In all his 40 years on the job, Stevens said he had never encountered the situation he faced at the college.
''We are reasonably lucky we haven't had any trouble [in the past]. We have had small fires at other schools but never more than one at a time.'
''I've seen nothing like this before, it's very unusual.''
In his view, the fires were probably started by more than one person.
The fire could have been big and caused some serious damage, he said, crediting the fast actions of the community and whoever called it in.
Waihī Police detective Simon Everson said luckily the fires were discovered before they could completely take hold.
But they still caused considerable damage to the buildings targeted.
''If they had not been so quickly extinguished then thousands of dollars of damage would have been caused to buildings that will soon again be used for educating our children.
''These fires happened during the early afternoon when people would have been around the area.''
The fires at the school were in a building by the tennis courts.
The police were appealing for anyone who saw anything suspicious in the area at the time or who knows anything about the fires to contact Detective Simon Everson at the Waihi Police station on 07 8633711.
Waihī College has been contacted for comment.