Heatpump starts medical centre fire
Staff at a doctors surgery severely damaged by fire say they’re overwhelmed by support from the community.
The Four Kauri Family Medical Centre in the Auckland suburb of Mt Albert was gutted by fire on May 28.
Fire Investigator Russell Dickson says the blaze was caused by an old air conditioning unit overheating.
Dr Sarah Stewart, who works at the centre, says everyone has been moved by messages from the public.
‘‘Most of the the doctors have been in practice for 20 years and a lot of the patients have been coming for a long time.’’
Patients took to Facebook to express their sadness after hearing about the damage to the surgery, which has served the Mt Albert community for more than 50 years.
‘‘This was my first ever doctors’, from the late 60s on,’’ Nikki Frittmann wrote.
‘‘The days when you had one doctor, who saw you come into this world, and pretty much saw you go out.’’
Michelle Joy wrote that she had been going to the surgery for more than 30 years.
‘‘It’s a very, very sad day. The doctors’ personal offices were always lined with family photos and children’s art. I certainly feel for them all.’’
Stewart says the practice will be relocated to a temporary location by the end of the week. Until then St Luke’s White Cross is providing a room for Four Kauri medical staff to see patients.
All medical records were safe and secure, she says.
The centre’s phone lines have been diverted to the regular after-hours service.
Dickson says the fire severely damaged the reception area but the back consulting rooms were not affected. The doors to the doctors’ offices were closed and this stopped any smoke damage to the rooms.
Fire Service northern communications shift manager Paul Radden says the blaze was quite advanced when emergency services arrived at the scene around 7.30am.
Smoke from the fire had drifted north and could be seen throughout the central city. At the height of the fire eight trucks and as many as 40 firefighters were at the scene.
It will be a while before staff at the centre know what will happen to the damaged building, Stewart says.
Firefighters dampen down the Four Kauri Family Medical Centre on New North Rd after fire ripped through it.