It is better to have burned and lost, than never to have barbecued at all.
Presbyterian Support Otago communications adviser Sally Knox wonders if that was what a group of teens were thinking when they built a camp fire and started to cook sausages on the grounds of First Church yesterday.
They fled at the first sign of trouble, leaving the fire unattended and the sausages to burn.
The communications adviser said it was definitely one of the more bizarre things she had seen in the Dunedin city centre.
"It was a real quirky one."
Knox said she was unaware of the fire until someone called Presbyterian Support Otago to tell them they could see smoke and flames beneath a large macrocarpa tree behind their offices in Moray Pl.
"It looked to be a makeshift barbecue kind of camp fire.
"The flames were reasonably high."
She said a group of teenagers were standing around the fire, but they fled after another staff member approached them.
"With the dry conditions and the wind, the tree catching fire was a concern.
"It was certainly a risk, given there's a fire ban on at the moment and a fence made from old timber was around there as well."
A Fire and Emergency New Zealand spokesman said emergency services were called about 10.20am and firefighters made short work of extinguishing the fire.
He confirmed a fire ban was in place and was disappointed to hear a fire was lit in the city centre, near dry and combustible material.
"It's a bit silly. Everything's pretty dry. In a rural area, it would be ridiculously silly.
"In light of the ban, it wasn't the wisest of things to do."
Police were also called but no charges were laid.
As for the sausages left behind, Knox said she could not confirm whether they ended up as a snack at the fire station or not.
"I really don't know what happened to them."