News from NZ Firs Service at 4.30
Fire has destroyed the upper floor of a Kilbirnie storage unit but the ground floor appears to have escaped with only water and smoke damage.
Firefighters have now begun to attack the fire from inside the building and expect this to take several hours as they work their way from unit to unit.
Assistant Area Commander Paul Smith says it has been a long and difficult fire to put out and it has been a hard slog for the firefighters who were called in from around the city to help.
“The fire is deep seated and we expect to be still fighting the fire tomorrow morning. Once it has been extinguished then a fire investigation will begin to determine the cause.”
Earlier this afternoon a digger was brought in to pull off part of the roof and a side wall to cool down the fire and allow firefighters to direct foam inside.
News from NZ Fire Service at 2pm
A large digger is being used to pull apart the Wellington storage facility to allow firefighters access to the interior., where a fire that has been burning for several hours has now been contained.
Assistant Area Commander Paul Smith says it has not been safe to fight the fire from inside and it has been difficult to get water into the interior from the aerial ladders and ground monitors. Removing part of the roof and wall will allow much more water to be directed into the seat of the fire.
AAC Smith said the building did not have sprinklers and shows how damaging a fire can be.
“Our advice is for commercial property owners of large buildings to install sprinklers – that way any fire that does start is either doused by the sprinklers or stopped from spreading until firefighters arrive.”
News from New Zealand Fire Service at 10.45
Wellington firefighters have brought a large fire at a storage facility near the airport under control but say it will take some time to put it out completely.
Assistant Area Commander Paul Smith said the fire is not endangering any other buildings but it has been difficult to put out because the building is made up of numerous locked compartments.
Heavy machinery is being brought in to peel back a wall or part of the roof to provide better access for water to be directed inside from above.
Around half of the 20 appliances brought in from the surrounding stations and volunteer brigades to help fight the fire overnight have now been sent home and fresh firefighters brought in.
One firefighter suffered mild heat stress and is now resting at home.
Thick smoke from the fire will continue for some time and residents and workers in the area are advised to close their windows.
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