Sus­pi­cious fire at marae

North Waikato News - - OUT & ABOUT - PHILLIPA YALDEN

A sus­pi­cious fire at Taupiri Marae has left an ac­com­mo­da­tion wing scorched.

Fire crews were called to the blaze on Kainui Rd about 6.15am on Tues­day, North­ern Fire Com­mu­ni­ca­tions shift man­ager Daniel Ni­chol­son said.

They ar­rived to find the ex­te­rior of the ac­com­mo­da­tion block build­ing of the marae on fire.

‘‘When we got here the whole build­ing was full of smoke - com­ing out the eaves,’’ Ngaru­awahia Fire Chief Karl Lap­wood said.

Fire crews from Huntly and Ngaru­awahia gained con­trol of the blaze be­fore in­ves­ti­gat­ing fur­ther.

’’A sur­vey of the site showed it was a small fire on the ex­te­rior of the build­ing.’’

Lap­wood said it ap­peared some­one had de­lib­er­ately lit a fire on the out­side of the marae’s tim­ber and iron ac­com­mo­da­tion wing.

‘‘It caught hold of the tim­ber and has gone up into the roof.’’

A quick catch by fire crews meant there was min­i­mal dam­age to the in­te­rior of the build­ing, which fire­fight­ers ven­ti­lated.

Mean­while smoke alarms saved a fam­ily of six who woke at mid­night on Mon­day to find flames en­gulf­ing the kitchen of their state house in Hamil­ton.

At its peak 20 fire­fight­ers were in­volved in con­tain­ing the blaze and stop­ping it spread­ing to neigh­bour­ing prop­er­ties.

The fire tore through the ex­te­rior of the ac­com­mo­da­tion wing at Taupiri Marae.

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