Investigations begin into Dargaville fire
7:28AM Tuesday January 06, 2009
Source: Newstalk ZB/NZPA
ONE NewsThe scene of a big blaze in the Northland town of Dargaville, 5th Jan 2009
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Fire Safety Investigators are expected to arrive at the scene of a big blaze in the Northland town of Dargaville.
Two fire crews are still at the scene of the fire which destroyed five shops on Monday night.
The blaze started in a paint shop in Normandy Street around 7.30pm and took nearly two hours to put out.
It quickly spread to two neighbouring buildings, a video store and a decorations shop.
About 100 fire personnel were called in to control the blaze which was brought under control after about 2 1/2 hours.
No one was injured and the buildings were believed to be empty when the fire started and with no toxic fumes reported there had been no evacuation orders.
Dargaville Volunteer Fire Brigade chief fire officer Mitch King said the service received many calls saying there was a building on fire between Victoria and Normanby Sts.
King says firefighters found an interiors store, where the fire was believed to have started, well ablaze.
"Due to the ferocity and size of the fire it was unable to be contained and more fire trucks and crews were needed from several centres around Kaipara, Whangarei and Maungaturoto," he says.
Owner of Foster's Home Decorating Ken Foster said he watched helplessly as his furniture shop went up in flames at around 7.30pm.
He said the business he and his wife Elain had worked hard to build up over many years was just a blazing inferno with an estimated stock loss of $500,000 and the building containing it, believed to be around $1.5 million.
"My whole life's in there mate and we'd just about done 26 years," he told the Dargaville and Districts News.
Foster says the couple bought the building in 1994, having moved in from premises across the road.
They then built it up to an up-market furniture store and Resene colour shop.
Foster says the building was insured for replacement value.
King says the fire was the biggest the town has seen since the mid-1960s, and about five business premises believed to be aged around 70 to 80 years old, had been destroyed.
Sourced from TVNZ Website