Kiri is a digital journalist for bayofplentytimes.co.nz.

Labour of love goes up in flames

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Layne Rawson is gutted he has lost a surfboard he has spent two weeks working on. Photo / John Borren
Layne Rawson is gutted he has lost a surfboard he has spent two weeks working on. Photo / John Borren

Up to 50 hours worth of care, love and attention in shaping a surfboard has been lost after fire destroyed a shed at an iconic Mount Maunganui surf store.

The Mount Surf Shop suffered cracked windows from the heat of the blaze, which engulfed a small repairs shed on site about 8.50pm on Tuesday.

Inside were several surfboards, all belonging to staff, one of which only had about an hour of shaping to go before it was completed, Mount Surf Shop manager Ben Millard said.

"There were a very few surfboards inside but one of the boys had been shaping his board and was just about finished. He only had an hour or so to go."

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Mr Millard said the staff member had spent 40 to 50 hours working on the board.

He was understandably walking around with a frown on his face yesterday, he said.

Flames had been seen from the street.

Mr Millard said a friend of his happened to be going past when they saw the fire and contacted him.

"I'm just glad nobody got hurt and we haven't lost much stock," Mr Millard said.

"It could have been a lot worse. A lot worse."

Tauranga fire investigator Bill Rackham said it was still too early to determine a cause of the fire "but my inquiries are continuing".

"A key message is this could have built into a very serious building fire," Mr Rackham said. "It was very close to the main surf shop. Had it gone unnoticed we could have had a very major fire in that industrial area."

Paid and volunteer Mount Maunganui firefighters responded and prevented the fire from spreading further, Station Officer Paul van Kol said.

The heat from the fire cracked windows in the store and the shed was destroyed.

What to check for fire safety each night:

* Are the kitchen appliances turned off and safe?

* Are the heaters turned off and furniture and clothes are a metre distance from the fire place?

* Has the ashtray been emptied into a metal bin outside?

* Has the TV been switched off using the power switch on the set and not the remote control standby?

* Are all candles out?

* Are kitchen and living room doors closed to slow a fire spreading to bedrooms?

* Is the house secure with keys in the deadlocks?

* Are passageways clear for a quick escape?

- fire.org.nz

- Bay of Plenty Times

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