Fire safety officers and police are investigating a fire that threatened a popular, long-standing but closed backpackers lodge on Napier's Marine Pde on Friday night.
The fire was reported at 9.09pm at the rear of an access lane between Kiwi Keith's Quality Backpackers and the concrete walls of a three-level residential building on its northern boundary.
With a high fence between, it backs on to the Rebel Sport carpark off Hastings St on the beachfront fringes of the Napier CBD.
A Fire and Emergency New Zealand shift manager said a caravan was well involved in the fire when the first firefighters arrived. Two crews from Napier and one from Hastings were called.
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Napier station officer Shane Cunningham was in the first crew, and said that while the lodge was apparently closed there were initial fears that people could have been in the caravan and in the lodge building.
He said the scene was "chaotic" when he first arrived, with people gathered outside on Marine Pde - some believed to have been squatters - "not being very forthcoming" with information about whether anyone could have been trapped.
The first crew also had difficulty with access past a van parked in the narrow lane, and ultimately fighting the fire from the vehicle's roof, while Cunningham searched the lodge building to ensure no one was inside.
The second crew fought the fire from the Hastings St carpark side.
Cunningham said one caravan was destroyed, a second had some mainly-heat damage, and building damage was confined to the exterior of the lodge and to a minor extent the ceiling, and scorching on the wall of the neighbouring building.
Fire safety officers had been back to the scene today, and police said earlier the matter had been referred to the CIB.