Police are making progress in their investigation into a suspicious fire that gutted a Housing New Zealand home in Clinkard Ave, Rotorua last week.

A police spokesman said they were "following positive lines of inquiry".

Firefighters were called to the wooden home just before 6pm last Tuesday.

Fire risk management officer Stuart Craddock said the fire was "definitely suspicious", and determined it started in the lounge and was fuelled by furniture.


In a statement, a Housing New Zealand spokesman said the house had been vacant for "a few weeks" because it was between tenancies.

A neighbour across the road from the burnt house told the Rotorua Daily Post on Wednesday that she had lived there for 50 years.

The woman said once the fire took hold and windows started smashing, everyone was out of their houses.

"The kids were quite fascinated, they were not scared."

She said she suspected from the beginning that the fire was deliberately lit, and she was "devastated" by the whole thing.

"I do not know why you would want to do that."

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The woman said a new roof had just been put on the house.