John Weekes is an NZME News Service reporter based in Wellington.

Fire damages Waiheke Island restaurant

The cause of the fire at Island Thyme restaurant on Waiheke Island is yet to be established.
The cause of the fire at Island Thyme restaurant on Waiheke Island is yet to be established.

Fire broke out at a Waiheke Island restaurant this morning and crews are still at the scene.

The Fire Service received multiple calls about a fire at Island Thyme restaurant on the main road in Surfdale, Waiheke, just after 10:30 am.

An eyewitness said dozens of locals gathered to watch local volunteers firefighters battle the blaze.

"There was a very strong smell, kind of a rubbery smell," he said. "But the kitchen hasn't been in operation for a while, for two or three weeks as far as I know. [The fire] started breaking through the peak of the roof and then there was a lot more smoke afterwards. I left. There were too many people there."

Police assisted with traffic and crowd control. The Fire Service said three pumps and a tanker were dispatched.

"We've got two pumps and a tanker still in attendance," Fire Service shift manger Dallas Ramsay said at 12:30pm. "The fire has been extinguished. We're just removing some internal ceiling lining so we can gain access to some hot spots.

The second storey was fully involved in fire when we arrived."

The cause of the fire was yet to be established.

No-one was reported injured or missing.

The restaurant marketed itself on Facebook as a breakfast and brunch restaurant, deli and sandwich shop.

Ramsay expected firefighters to remain in Surfdale with two pumps and a tanker for at least another hour.

- Herald on Sunday

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