Marae, restaurant ablaze

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Te Uri o Hikihiki Marae at Mokau on fire
Te Uri o Hikihiki Marae at Mokau on fire

A second fire has broken out in Northland this afternoon with firefighters called to put out a blaze at the Sea Dragon Restaurant at the northern end of Kaitaia's main street.

The blaze was reported in the roof about 3.40pm today. Police evacuated staff and diners. The Kaitaia Fire Brigade, whose station is about 50m from the restaurant, quickly put it out. Damage appears to be limited to a chimney and smoke damage to the interior.

Earlier today, about 1pm, Te Uri o Hikihiki Marae on Russell Rd at Mokau, 45km north of Whangarei, was badly damaged by fire. At least three fire appliances were at the scene with the blaze believed to have started in the whare nui.

The marae's distance from the nearest fire brigade meant the building was engulfed in flames when firefighters arrived. The fire is now out but the whare nui has been all but destroyed.

The local community is devastated.

A fire investigator is at the scene trying to establish the cause.

- NORTHERN ADVOCATE

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