Fire Communications 'could hear explosions'

By Morgan Tait, Christina Campbell, Vaimoana Tapaleao

Witnesses to a large fire in East Auckland this afternoon have described seeing the garage flying across the road as loud explosions could be heard coming from inside.

A person suffered moderate injuries in the fire.

Fire crews were called to a house on Latham Avenue, in Pakuranga, shortly before 2pm following reports of multiple explosions in the area.

The Northern Fire Communications said they could hear explosions over the phone as they took calls from the public.

A witness called Keith told Newstalk ZB he arrived about five minutes before fire fighters arrived and saw several explosions coming from the garage.

"When the garage was exploding you couldn't get near the house because it just exploded straight across the road. There was one lady lying on the ground.

"The garage is completely gone now and part of the font of the house is all burnt out."

It is understood chemicals or gas were likely involved in the explosion, but there was no indication at this stage that drug manufacturing was a factor.

A Herald photographer at the scene said the fire took place in a double garage in front of a house.

The remnants of a vehicle could be seen inside the garage, which was left charred.

Fire fighters are still at the scene and were walking around the property hosing down hot spots.

Authorities have also put up a large cordon around the area and have blocked access to a part of the road.

A worker at the nearby Pakuranga Liquor store said he saw large plumes of smoke coming down the street at about 2pm.

Duty manager Sarbjit Singh told the Herald: "We could see the black smoke -- so much smoke. I think the whole house is gone."

Mr Singh said he did not know if anyone had been injured in the blaze, but could see people standing on the street.

"People have come out of their houses."

Another resident said she was driving down Pakuranga Road with her daughter when they saw flames.

"We could see the black smoke blowing out and could see the flames. It's probably about three houses across from where we are," the woman, who did not want to be named, said.

A specialist fire investigator is working to determine the cause of the blaze.med, said.

- NZ Herald

Get the news delivered straight to your inbox

Receive the day’s news, sport and entertainment in our daily email newsletter

SIGN UP NOW

© Copyright 2016, NZME. Publishing Limited

Assembled by: (static) on production apcf03 at 11 Dec 2016 23:43:23 Processing Time: 912ms