Staff from the carpet underlay business destroyed by an intense blaze in Tūrangi yesterday are numb but doing what they can for clients.
Padco Ltd lost stock and the manufacturing machine used to make the underlay in yesterday's fire and confirmed today nothing was salvageable once the flames were doused.
Firefighters from Tūrangi, Taupō, Rotorua, Whakapapa, Ohakune, Southern Lakes, Rural Fire and as far as Greerton in Tauranga battled the fire that was reported at 9.55am and brought under control by 1.30pm.
Padco office manager Linda Rae said staff were devastated.
"There's only three of us and we are very close," Rae said.
"I have been friends with Russell [Morgan] who owns the business and building for many years and Courtney [Faigan] who runs the manufacturing machine is my niece."
Rae said she was in Taupō when she received news of the fire.
"Courtney called me in tears and let me know. I rushed back to Tūrangi but there was nothing that could be done."
Both Morgan and Faigan had tried to put out the fire with extinguishers but quickly realised they needed help.
"The fire investigators are confident they know what started the fire and while I can't go into detail, I can say it was an accident," Rae said.
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My niece had her Nissan Silvia car on blocks in the shed and is devastated."
Rae said Padco Ltd had been operating from the Atirau Rd building for about two years but had been based in Tūrangi for about a decade.
Fortunately, I do the office work from home so none of that was lost."
Yesterday, Rae was visiting businesses that stocked their product to see what was available for existing orders.
"We're hoping to look after our clients as best we can."
Rae said it would be at least six months before the business was up-and-running again but staff were staying positive.
Tūrangi Volunteer Fire Brigade deputy chief fire officer Michelle Sherwood said the fire was one of the worst the brigade had attended for many years.
"There was a high fuel load in the building, meaning the fire burned faster and hotter than a house fire would," Sherwood said. "The fuel load added to the intensity of the fire."
She said there wasn't much left of the main shed once the flames were extinguished.
Yesterday afternoon, contractors were on site working to demolish what was left of the structure. A post on the Tūrangi Fire Brigade's Facebook page acknowledged the "overwhelming support from the Tūrangi community for the multiple messages of support and offers of food".