Firefighters fought a gas-fed blaze at a Palmerston North home for more than hour before contractors could dig up the road and cut off its supply.
It was one of two house fires last night.
Three fire engines were called to Ranfurly St at 6pm where the back part of an unoccupied house was on fire.
Palmerston North senior station officer Ian King said the fire was being treated as suspicious.
"The fact that the house was unoccupied and secured made us tend towards looking at it as a suspicious fire; plus there's been reports of kids seen on the property from time to time."
At 1am crews were called to another fire at a home on Featherston St.
King said about two thirds of the two-storey property was severely damaged by fire and the rest affected by smoke.
"The actual fire destroyed the gas meter and subsequently we had a rather large pressure-fed gas fire to deal with as well as the rest of the house burning."
"It was an extra spanner in the works that we probably didn't need."
King said firefighters cooled the gas-fed fire for an hour and a half before contractors could cut off the gas.
"The gas contractors had to find the correct main and dig through concrete and asphalt to actually find it to shut it off."
"We don't think it contributed to the spread of fire, it just made it a bit more difficult."
A fire investigator will probe both sites this morning.