Belinda Feek is a NZ Herald reporter

Deep fryer cause of Hamilton blaze

A blaze which severely damaged a Hamilton bakery was caused by a deep fryer being left on.

Metre high flames were spotted coming out of the Flagstaff Bakehouse kitchen just after 5pm yesterday before it spread to the neighbouring Wiltshire Roast Shop.

It took the 24 firefighters 30 minutes to battle the blaze.

Waikato fire safety investigator Kevin Holmes confirmed that the fire began after a deep fryer was left on.

"Unfortunately [the fire] got into the [roast] shop next door and although there's not a lot of damage, it will put them out of business for the best part of a couple of weeks. There was damage to electrical cablingand damage of the internal wall that separates the two businesses."

It took the 24 firefighters 30 minutes to battle the blaze. Photo / Niki Preston
It took the 24 firefighters 30 minutes to battle the blaze. Photo / Niki Preston

As for the bakery, Mr Holmes said structurally it was okay with most damage confirmed to the shop, including its appliances, and roof.

He said the building owners indicated they were keen to get the bakery up and running and expected the refurbishment and repairs to take between six and eight weeks.

Mr Holmes said some locals were still unaware of the blaze and had turned up for their morning pie this morning to find it had burnt down.

Flagstaff Cafe and Sports Bar manager Kathleen Ngahiwi told the Herald last night she heard an alarm in the bakery just after 5pm and went out the back of the shop but the owners were not around. She then went to the front and through the shop window saw waist high flames coming from kitchen area.

"I came running back here and called 111."

She said the owner of the bakery arrived shortly after the fire fighters and did not realise it was his shop at first.

"The poor guy... He said what happened and I said, "It's your shop mate."

Super Liquor manager Parul Parihar said she first saw thick black smoke and when she went to the rear of the shop spotted flames also coming from the roast shop.

"I was working here. I saw smoke coming up. There was smoke all around. It was even coming into our shop." A worker was trying to put the flames out with water and just when they thought they had them under control they flared again and the fire service took over.

- NZ Herald

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