The cause of a blaze that gutted an automotive workshop in Greerton and damaged a neighbouring shop is yet to be determined.
Greerton Fire Service station officer Richard Moreland said the Midnight Motors workshop near Countdown in Cameron Rd, close to the Greerton shops, was "well involved" when fire crews arrived before dawn yesterday.
About 30 firefighters and support staff from the Greerton, Tauranga and Mount Maunganui brigades attended, and despite their efforts, the workshop was gutted, he said.
"But we managed to contain the fire to mainly the workshop."
Moreland said the workshop building was unoccupied when they arrived. The roof of the workshop had collapsed, making fighting the fire hazardous.
The landlord of the building, who arrived to assess the damage, confirmed to the Bay of Plenty Times the property was insured.
The Hobby Shop, which has its front entrance on Cameron Rd, had to be broken into to allow firefighters to gain access to the burning workshop. The shop's front window had been smashed and a firefighter stood guard for several hours.
I have lost quite a bit of stock. - The Hobby Shop owner
The owner, who spoke to the Bay of Plenty Times on condition they were not named, said he expected his shop would be closed for a few weeks due to the extent of fire, water and smoke damage.
"I have lost quite a bit of stock and I'm still working with the insurance assessor to determined the exact amount of my losses," he said.
The owner said he would still be able to partly operate his business via the internet.
"It's gutting because Christmas is only a few weeks away which is our busiest time of year. Something like this is quite a shock but thankfully no one was hurt, and I am insured," he said.
The Labour Party's electorate office next door was closed for the day due to having no power.
Tauranga fire risk investigator Luke Burgess said the investigation into the fire's cause was continuing and he was keen to speak to anyone who had any information.
"It is timely to remind people to ensure they have smoke alarms installed in their premises and also have an effective exit way from their building," he said.
Anyone with any information about the fire should call Tauranga fire station on 578 7099.