Arrest made following three suspicious early morning fires in Christchurch

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Christchurch Police have arrested a man following three alleged suspicious fires during the early hours of the morning on Monday 7 September in Christchurch at two churches and a cafe.

The man arrested, who is a 21-year-old, was charged in relation to the fires at the Kingdom Hall of Jehovah’s Witnesses in Parklands, the Cardboard Cathedral on Hereford Street, and the Beach Cafe and Wine Bar in New Brighton.

The three buildings have been alleged to have been deliberately set on fire within the time frame of 1 am to 5.30 am on Monday 7 September 2020. 


The 21-year-old man has also been charged for attempted arson of a church in Kaiapoi, burglary and wilful damage. He is due to appear in the Christchurch District Court today.

Scott Anderson who is the Detective Inspector of the Canterbury CIB, says the arrest meant it was a great result of good Police investigative work.

“We’re pleased to have been able to bring about a swift result, which we hope will offer the community reassurance.”

As this matter is now before the courts, Police cannot comment further.

Source: CC/ Google - Kingdom Hall of Jehovah's Witnesses in Parklands

The fires, of which Police were alerted too were three separate fires, one being at the Kingdom Hall of Jehovah’s Witnesses in Parklands just after 3 am.

Source: CC/ Google - Cardboard Cathedral on Hereford Street

At around 3:35 am a fire alarm was set off at Cardboard Cathedral on Hereford Street.

Source: CC/ Google - Beach Road Cafe in New Brighton

The last fire was at the Beach Road Cafe in New Brighton just after 5.30 am on Monday.

Police and Fire and Emergency staff attended all scenes during the morning conducting scene examinations and investigated how the fires started.

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