Search and Rescue teams are using drones to monitor safety levels at a warehouse in Hastings, after the building's roof caved in on Monday.

Emergency services were called to assess the damage at a coldstore on Caroline Rd yesterday but NZ Fire and Emergency area commander Ken Cooper said the building still posed a public risk.

Fire and Emergency representatives discuss how to demolish an unsafe warehouse in Hastings. Photo / Paul Taylor
Fire and Emergency representatives discuss how to demolish an unsafe warehouse in Hastings. Photo / Paul Taylor

"We had an urban search and recovery team from Central North Island on site overnight, and they were monitoring the stability. The good news is that the building is not showing movement, however there is still a risk to the public, which is why we still have the cordon established because there is a risk of the building moving and collapsing outwards."

A meeting was expected to take place yesterday to inform local residents and businesses of the best way forward.


"The owner was on site today and the plan is to commence demolition of the building. So, we are looking to work with the demolition company to get a plan of how to do it safely."

Demolition was expected to start either today or tomorrow and cordons would stay in place over the next several days.

"Some businesses in the local area have been affected by the cordons but we're trying to limit that as much as possible which is why we are pressing to get the building demolished as soon as possible."

Cooper said with the building too unsafe to enter, much of the engineering assessments had been done using images from drones.

"We can put them into areas where we don't want to send firefighters, so we are monitoring the stability of the building from yesterday to today and also we are using the imagery to inform the engineers' positions about how we go about the demolition safely.

"The drones have shown the building is definitely unsafe to enter. It's a good tool to have, the images have been sent to Wellington and they have been shared with engineers in Auckland who have reviewed our tactics we have in place."

While Caroline Rd remained closed to traffic, some local businesses were still open for business.

Representatives from Hastings District Council were also working closely with engineers on the scene.

"The council is responsible for ensuring that any dangers associated with the building's roof collapse are being addressed and that the building is secured so it does not pose a danger to the public – as the situation stands so far today the council is satisfied in both these regards," a council spokeswoman said.

"Council representatives are working with the building owner and engineers to further assess the situation.

"Access to Caroline Rd is restricted to residents only for the next few days, so please avoid this area."

However, nearby Growcom Landscape Supplies is still open for business and accessible from the Frederick St end.

The warehouse is being used as a coolstore and leased by Polarcold Stores Limited. No staff were in the building when the roof collapsed on Monday.