Unusual callouts for firefighters
From birds stuck in chimneys to vicious arsonists, South Waikato’s firefighters dealt with it all in 2013.
Another year has passed for the district’s volunteer firefighters and things are looking up for the rest of 2014.
Tokoroa fire chief Dave Morris said a possible wetter end to summer would be good news for those dressed in overalls.
The number of call outs over summer is already slightly up on last year’s with 31 in December compared to 29 during the same period last year.
That was indicative of the whole year with Tokoroa volunteers attending 338 call outs in 2013 as opposed to 308 in 2012.
‘‘The only real large fire that we attended was an old building fire in Mangakino.’’
He said there was a high number of house fires in Tokoroa – 35 – all caused by either arson, unattended cooking or children playing with matches.
‘‘Probably the most unusual fire calls that we had during the year was to birds stuck in chimneys and leaking hot water cylinders.’’
Meanwhile Putaruru firefighters attended almost double the number of call outs.
Chief Graeme Hoole said although it felt quieter the numbers show they responded to 15 incidents in 2013 compared to eight in 2012.
‘‘The biggest calls we attended would be two motor vehicle accidents where we had to extricate people from the vehicles using our hydraulic rescue equipment.’’
He warns residents to take care as we move further into summer.
‘‘With the weather getting hotter, no outside fires unless you have a permit. If you do light a fire and no permit and the brigade attends, your fire would be put out immediately.’’