A trail of blood found near a house that went up in flames in Hastings has led police to believe the blaze is suspicious.
The house was severely damaged in the fire which started on Tuesday afternoon on Holmes Place, Flaxmere.
Police found evidence that someone entered the house shortly before the fire and left before emergency services arrived, says Detective Sergeant Daryl Moore.
"There is a trail of blood leading from the house down to Boston Crescent which is over 200 metres away."
Police are searching for a man who is likely to have a fresh injury to one of his hands or arms that will be bandaged or covered with some plasters, Det Sgt Moore said.
The man has been described as Polynesian, between 25-30 years old with an athletic build, was wearing a navy blue t-shirt and spoke English with a strong accent.