Teens use property as “doss house”

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Police believe last week’s fire in Nen St was at a house being used as a gathering place for teenagers, Detective Kevin Kirkman says.

An investigation is continuing following the fire which broke out at an empty house on Nen St at 5am on Wednesday, July 16.

Detective Kirkman said inquiries had led police to believe that the property was being used by teenagers as a “doss house”.

The youths appeared to range in age from 12 to 16 and used it as a place to gather since it became vacant at the start of the year, he said.

“There has previously been some minor damage.”

Detective Kirkman said he was not aware of any other property in the area being used in this fashion.

There had been reports of some minor graffiti and damage, but police were not sure if it was related to the same group.

The Nen St fire caused moderate fire and smoke damage to the insured property and police believed it was started from three different points, Detective Kirkman said.

“A scene examination has indicated that the fire was deliberately lit inside the house.”

The fire was contained and put out by the fire service before more significant damage could be caused, he said.

“Police are grateful that a member of the public had noticed the fire and reported it so that the fire service were able to attend promptly.”

Anyone with information about the fire or people who went to the address can contact the Oamaru Police Station on 433 1400.

By RUBY HARFIELD

PHOTO: RUBY HARFIELD

SUSPICIOUS FIRE: The property on Nen St in which a fire broke out is believed to have been used as a “doss house”.