Workshop severely damaged after early morning blaze

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Fire Service investigator Mike Finucane at the scene of a fire that destroyed the Brian Tasker Motors building in Hastings early yesterday morning. Photo / Paul Taylor.
Fire Service investigator Mike Finucane at the scene of a fire that destroyed the Brian Tasker Motors building in Hastings early yesterday morning. Photo / Paul Taylor.

A fire engulfed Brian Tasker Motor's workshop in the early hours of Tuesday morning.

Hastings Fire Station officer Jamie Keenan said the cause of the fire was still unknown but police and a fire investigator were examining the Hastings building.

"It is still under investigation as they are sifting through the remains to see if they can determine what happened."

Fire received the call out at 4.30am but by the time the three appliances- one from Napier and two from Hastings - arrived the fire was "fully involved".

Mr Keenan said the crews did not leave until about 8am.

"It was a long process due to the nature of a workshop, as there were gas cylinders so the crew had to be cautious. They managed to extinguish the fire pretty quickly but the process of dampening and securing the scene takes longer."

A police spokeswoman said police arrived at 4.38am to assist and had a scene guard overnight and in to the morning to protect the site.

Brian Tasker who owns the workshop but sold the business 12 months ago was thankful they had insurance.

"The entire building is destroyed and the workshop is beyond repair."

Mr Tasker said Curson Contracts Trading Ltd from Gisborne run the business but he was unsure what would happen now.

That wasn't the only fire that kept crews busy yesterday with the strong westerly winds fuelling scrub fires around the region.

Waipukurau deputy chief fire officer Glen Millar said they had two callouts to large scrub fires at 2pm.

"We were called to Ngahape Rd to a 100m by 40m fire and to the landfill for a 10m by 10m."

Mr Millar said the wind gusts were so strong they could hardly stand up and the wind direction caused the fire to spread along the grass in a direct line of the house.

A Hastings Fire Station spokesman said three firetrucks were also called out to the base of Te Mata Peak where another farmer's burn-off pit got out of control.

Mr Millar advised people to check old burn offs as the wind fuelled the oxygen needed to ignite and relight the fire weeks later.

"The fire on Ngahape Rd was on a three week old burn-off so don't just assume they are put out, actually check that they are."

Deputy Principal Rural Fire Officer Bruce Kitto said the amount of fires had prompted Central Hawke's Bay to go into a restricted fire season from 8am today.

This meant there was a total fire ban in place on all Central Hawke's Bay beaches and public areas unless people have a fire permit issued by the Central Hawke's Bay District Council.

- Hawkes Bay Today

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