Oxton Farm lost a piece of history, and a tenant all her possessions, when a 70-year-old cottage on Ohaumoko Rd burned down on Monday.

The property was owned by Nick Tripe.

Local resident Ashley Fox said yesterday "there wasn't much left of a house that holds many memories for many families. It's a tragedy and I'm thankful everyone is okay."

Miss Fox understood the sole occupant of the house, who had moved in less than a week ago, lost all her possessions in the fire and was not at home when the fire began.


The Wanganui Fire Service was called to the property at about 2pm.

Senior Station Officer Gary Wilson said the farm cottage was completely destroyed in the fire.

The cottage was well alight by the time firefighters arrived. A tanker also came out from the Marton brigade.

"They're still looking for a cause," Mr Wilson said.

Miss Fox said a power surge may have started the fire.

"Pete, my partner, Curly the [Oxton] farm manager and I were loading the bulldozer on the truck early yesterday afternoon. Apart from the road works on our road, all was quiet.

"Unbeknown to us there had been a power surge mid-morning and Nick Tripe said this morning it is thought this started the fire.

"We must have left somewhere around 2pm to drop the bulldozer off at Fordell Garage. While we were unloading the bulldozer a fire engine came flying past the garage, sirens and lights going. I wondered briefly and then carried on working.

"As we came home it became clear where the fire engines were going as I saw a piece of Oxton history up in smoke."

Miss Fox said "everyone concerned is shaken but okay".