Twenty-year-old Katie Lin, who was returning home on a Saturday night last month, remembers seeing a strange glow down her road. She wasn’t quite sure, but the bright light in the distance looked like a ball of raging fire.
And it looked dangerously close to where she lived.
Her suspicions were confirmed as she drove closer. She was confronted with ball of raging fire outside her Point View Drive home. It was January 14.
“As I was returning home at 2.30am after catching up with a friend, I was shocked to see that someone had set our recycling bin on fire,” said the young lady who was travelling overseas the following day.
“Strangely, someone had moved the bin around two metres away from where it was originally placed. They had moved it towards a construction site of a new house that is being built on the subdivision.”
Katie said it was quite dangerous as there was a lot of building material lying around, along with logs of wood that could have easily caught fire.
The former Botany Downs Secondary College student quickly woke up her grandfather to help extinguish the fire with buckets of water.
“At first the flames started leaping up when we poured water but finally the fire settled down,” she said.
“If I hadn’t arrived at that time of the night, we would have never known that someone had deliberately set the fire.”
Later in the morning, Katie’s worried parents informed their neighbour and member of the Howick Local Board, Peter Young, of the incident.
Mr Young expressed concern about miscreants setting fire in the middle of the night and said that the culprit needs to be identified.
He said his green bin of envirowaste was placed right next to the neighbour’s rubbish bin.
“I’m glad they didn’t set it on fire because mine was filled with garden waste which could have burnt very easily. This is very dangerous.”
The incident was reported to the police.
Katie’s cousin Amanda Lao who lives in the vicinity at Keppoch Court, Dannemora believes there are delinquents in the area playing mischief.
She said that around two months ago they were shocked to discover that a lot of their mail was burnt to ashes in the letterbox.
“Someone had probably flicked a burning match stick in our mailbox which was very disconcerting. Why would people do that?” she questioned.
“I hope the police do something about it.”
A police spokesperson said that they are not aware of other instances in the area and suggested contacting Auckland Council to find out if similar incidents had been reported.
Ian Stupple, general manager Waste Solutions, Auckland Council told the Times: “From time to time Auckland Council is notified about people starting fires in rubbish or recycling bins, but we have not seen an increase of this happening in the Dannemora area.
“This is a timely reminder for people to make sure that they collect their rubbish and recycling bins from the kerbside as soon as they can after the bins have been emptied.”
He said that Waste Solutions investigates all cases of missed collections when they are reported to find out the cause.
“We understand that there were no other complaints from this street about a missed collection at this time.”