Oamaru shed fire an ‘unfortunate accident’


A reasonably large fire which ripped through a shed on Maudes St on Saturday evening was an unfortunate accident, Weston Volunteer Fire Brigade chief fire officer Bevan Koppert says.

Mr Koppert said the fire, which occurred at approximately 5.50pm, was believed to have been caused by ashes from rubbish burning in a contained fire box blowing in strong winds and igniting a large semi-industrial shed.

The 40m by 25m shed was completely destroyed along with equipment inside and a nearby hedge was also damaged, he said.

A house, approximately three metres away, was not damaged as firefighters concentrated their efforts on making sure the blaze did not spread from the hedge to the dwelling.

“The house was good as gold.”

Nobody could have predicted a fire like this, which was “completely an accident”, Mr Koppert said.

The owner had been burning rubbish in a contained area and believed it was out, they had no reason to expect the blustery winds which came along on Saturday afternoon, the chief fire officer said.

“It was just unfortunate that it happened.”

One fire appliance and one tanker were sent from Weston, one fire appliance from Oamaru and another tanker from Kakanui.

In total there were 18 firefighters attending the blaze.

The Weston Volunteer Fire Brigade did not get home until 9.30pm as they spent a considerable amount of time dampening in order to control the fire.

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