Ar­son blamed for fac­tory fire

Central Leader - - NEWS - By EMMA WHIT­TAKER

The clean-up is well un­der­way at a fac­tory hit by a sus­pected ar­son.

Three fire ap­pli­ances were called to the Ren­o­va­tion Group Plas­tic Re­cy­cling fac­tory on Niel­son St in One­hunga just be­fore midnight on Sun­day.

It took fire­fight­ers about three hours to dampen the blaze that is now be­ing in­ves­ti­gated by by the fire ser­vice and po­lice.

Fire risk man­age­ment of­fi­cer Ray Cole­man says it started among large sacks of plas­tic that were stacked out­side the build­ing.

‘‘Be­ing plas­tic it was a very hot, fierce burn. A few of the fac­tory win­dows have bro­ken from the heat and a few spot fires got go­ing in­side.

‘‘Once it was put out we re­alised the plas­tic had melted into a big pile, which made things dif­fi­cult.

‘‘Fire crews got there in the nick of time. For­tu­nately the dam­age was nowhere near as bad as it could have been.’’

He says the tox­ins given off in this type of fire make the job of putting it out even more danger­ous for fire- fight­ers and could have put peo­ple at risk if it had been in a res­i­den­tial area.

Fac­tory owner Daun Qu says it’s a good job no­body was in the build­ing.

‘‘It sucks. I hate the peo­ple that did this.

‘‘It’s not the fi­nan­cial cost that is the is­sue,’’ she says.

She and her em­ploy­ees have spent the last two days clean­ing up the mess and hope to get the fac­tory opened again to­day.

Glen Innes De­tec­tive Baz Dahya is ask­ing any­one who saw any­thing sus­pi­cious to come for­ward.

‘‘At the mo­ment we are mak­ing gen­eral in­quiries and look­ing at CCTV footage. There were some peo­ple hang­ing around at the time,’’ he says.

‘‘If you were pass­ing by we would gladly ac­cept any in­for­ma­tion.’’

Photo: JA­SON OXENHAM

Singed: A fire at a plas­tic re­cy­cling cen­tre in One­hunga may have been de­lib­er­ately lit.

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