A huge blaze at a residential property in the Ōpōtiki district has destroyed four sheds, two caravans and a single-story home.
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Fire and Emergency New Zealand shift manager Carren Larking said multiple 111 calls were received about a shed fire at a residential property on State Highway 35, Torere, Ōpōtiki district just before 2.20 am today.
Sheds and a single-storey house on property situated on a section of SH35 between Wainui and Te Waiiti Rds were totally involved when fire crews arrived, Larking said.
At least 20 firefighters from Ōpōtiki, Taneatua, Ohope, Whakatāne, and a water tanker from Edgecumbe attended and were at the scene for more than three hours.
Ōpōtiki fire chief Rowan Newell said the property was 22km from Ōpōtiki in a residential area and due to the blustery conditions fighting the fire proved difficult.
"It took some time to put the fire out due to the windy conditions, and also the need to access water from a private source as well as our appliances," Newell said.
"Our priority was to ensure we also protected the houses on either side from exposure to the well-involved fire ... It has totally destroyed four sheds, including a workshop containing tools and equipment, two caravans and the house on the property."
Given the size of the house, he believed it was a three-bedroom home.
Newell, who only returned to the fire station at 8.30 am, said the cause of the fire was being investigated and specialist fire investigator Luke Burgess was on the scene.
Two occupants, believed to be a couple were at home when the fire started, but were not injured, and they were being comforted by family members, he said.
Burgess said the fire was a reminder to people to ensure they have working smoke alarms and an escape plan.