Busy morning for fire service
Fri, 15 Jun 2012 12:25p.m.
By Kim Choe
The fire service had a busy morning in Auckland today, battling two large fires that broke out in the early hours requiring 28 fire trucks between them.
Both caused significant damage, and have left business owners with big clean ups on their hands.
Dozens of firefighters were called to a fire at the Xtreme Entertainment centre just before 5am, where the bowling alley had caught fire.
"It's quite a large, open-plan building," says Andy Clarkson, Counties-Manukau assistant area manager,
"They could see a glow down the bottom end of the bowling lane, around where the pins are."
The building had a comprehensive alarm system, but no sprinklers. Firefighters contained the blaze quickly, but it was smoke that did the most damage.
"Once they got down and started putting water on the fire, the steam and smoke levels really dropped and the whole building really filled up quite heavily with smoke," says Mr Clarkson.
Investigators are now trying to determine the cause of the fire, which has left several neighbouring business uncertain about when they'll be able to reopen.
"I got a bit of a fright actually," says Karen Capper, Reduced to Clear operations manager. "We had a staff member drive past earlier this morning, and give me a call and say, 'Hey, it looks like our shop's on fire.'"
Luckily, their building wasn't seriously damaged, but the smoke means hundreds of thousands of dollars of stock may have to be thrown out.
"We're going to have to make some very careful assessments, and we'll be taking advice on that from some specialists," says Aaron Foley, Reduced to Clear senior buyer.
"We certainly won't be putting anything out for sale that can't be sold."
At the same time, firefighters were battling another large blaze at an engineering business further south, in Pukekohe. It too was quickly brought under control, but has left the building's owners with some work to do this weekend.
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