A fire that destroyed a shed caused a local to cut short his fishing trip to bring a firefighter back to land.

The fire happened on Spencer Rd at Lake Tarawera yesterday afternoon and five fire engines attended the blaze.

Okareka Fire Brigade chief fire officer Philip Muldoon said they were called at 2.30pm. They had the fire under control in under an hour but it took some time to dampen down, Mr Muldoon said.

Tarawera resident Ian Lipscombe said he was fishing when he noticed the fire.

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"I was out in the middle of the lake fishing ... I saw it blazing. I had a fireman on board and I had to bring him back in.

"It was bloody black smoke for a start, man it was black smoke," he said.

Mr Lipscombe's wife, Meg, said she had gone to pick the men up from the boat dock.

"I got the SOS, 'come and pick us up we are racing back from Stone Bay in the boat'.

"It's a bit of action for the locals. We very seldom get fires out here," she said.

The shed owner, who did not want to be named, said he had no idea how it started.

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"I had just finished mowing the lawns and then I looked over and thought what is this? And called the fire department.

"There must have been some oil on the floor and the engine caused it to light but there's no electricity in there.

"It's my nice garden shed and all my equipment down the drain.

"We are very lucky there are no houses around the shed and that no one was hurt."