Fireball engulfs Carterton property

By Amie Hickland amie.hickland@age.co.nz


A huge ball of flame could be seen over a Carterton farm after a quad bike sparked a shed blaze on Tuesday night.

Carterton Fire Brigade were called to Woodlea Farm, Hodders Rd, about 9.30pm after the fire was seen by farm workers.

Worker Glen Morgan said it was lucky the blaze was spotted early as there was potential for it to spread to nearby sheds.

"My wife looked out the window about 9.30pm, saw some flames and called 111," he said.

"If she didn't see it when she did, it would have been quite big."

He said a quad bike used that day for spraying, which he said may have had some something caught in it, had started the fire in the old cow shed.

"All I can remember is getting woken up and saying 'there's a fire'. I ran over while she called 111," Mr Morgan said.

Farm owner Linda McLennan said she and her husband and daughter rescued saddles before fire took hold of the shed, which also contained saddle blankets, horse covers and leather gear.

"It was a big ball of flame," Ms McLennan said.

"The rafters were smouldering and you could see the flames coming through."

Nearby horses and other animals were not affected. "They were a bit distraught by the smoke and the flames and things," she said.

Ms McLennan said the timely response of the fire brigade was appreciated.

Fire chief Wayne Robinson said it took about 10 minutes to get the fire under control, although firefighters spent a few hours getting rid of hot spots.

"The roof's caved in on one bit but the rest is still standing," he said.

"It was just lucky that the sharemilker's wife heard a bang," Mr Robinson said. "It was going pretty well when we got there."

Mr Robinson said a fault with the bike had started the fire.

Fire crews also responded to two separate machinery fires yesterday.

A tractor was destroyed on Lake Ferry Rd at 1.30pm yesterday. Martinborough fire chief Garry Jackson said the driver had stopped for lunch when it caught fire. A 13-tonne digger caught fire at Mauriceville limestone quarry about 4.30pm, said Masterton Station officer Kevin Smith. "The heat was so intensive that it blew the main arm apart," he said.

- WAIRARAPA TIMES-AGE

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