A Manakau couple might have lost some treasured possessions when fire destroyed their historic shed this afternoon, but they did manage to save the life of their beloved pet dog.
As fire crews rushed to douse the flames Greg and Viv Gilpin managed to untie Stella, their five-year-old Huntaway cross, from her kennel that was just metres away from the blaze, and walk her to safety.
Fire trucks from Ōtaki, Horowhenua, Levin and Te Horo volunteer brigades were quickly onsite after being alerted to the blaze just before 2pm, but by then the shed was already engulfed in flame.
By 3.30pm the fire crews had controlled the fire and were dampening the site. The Gilpin family home, which was just short distance away, was fortunately undamaged.
Greg Gilpin was saddened to have lost the historic shed, which was originally built in the 1880's and was used by blacksmiths to put shoes on horses that were travelling to and from Wellington.
"It had the original stain glass windows...the sad part is the historic nature of it. It is sad that its gone," he said.
"It was a real feature of the place."
Gilpin also lost a Harley Davidson motorcycle, all his tools and machinery, along with an old forge and anvil were still in the shed from their original use more 130 years ago.
"It just went up so quick."
He had no idea how the fire could have started, as he hadn't been near the shed all day and there was nothing in there that could have ignited.
Fire and Emergency Senior Officer Chris Kennedy said crews from Ōtaki, Levin and Te Horo were quickly at the scene of the fire, although by then it was well ablaze.
The fire spouted toxic fumes as paint stored inside the shed caught fire, billowing thick smoke that could be seen from nearby State Highway One.
At this stage the cause of the fire was unknown.