A house fire in Hastings yesterday afternoon is being treated as suspicious by police after a trail of blood was found leading from the site of the blaze.
The fire occurred about 3pm yesterday, January 2, in house (empty at the time) on Holmes Place, Flaxmere, north-west of Hastings.
Extensive damage was caused to the property, and Detective Sergeant Daryl Moore said there is evidence someone entered the house shortly before the fire, but left before emergency services arrived.
"There is a trail of blood leading from the house down to Boston Crescent which is over 200m away," Detective Moore said.
"Police would like to speak to a person of interest who was seen in Boston Crescent shortly after the fire, a male believed to be 25-30 years old."
The man police are searching for is described as Polynesian and approximately 175 to 180 cm tall, about 85 to 95 kg and of athletic build.
Police have described the man as having a scraggly afro of dark hair, about two inches long, with stubble on his face.
He was wearing a navy blue t-shirt and spoke English with a strong accent.
Detective Sergeant Moore also said he is likely to have a fresh injury to one of his hands or arms that will be bandaged or covered with some plasters.
Anyone who has seen this man, or has any information, is urged to call Hawke's Bay Police on 06 873 0531 or anonymously to Crime Stoppers on 0800 555 111.