Blaze causes se­vere dam­age to start-up’s work­shop

Waikato Times - - News - Staff re­porter

An in­dus­trial build­ing used by New Zealand’s first on-wa­ter hy­dro­foil bike start-up caught fire near Hamil­ton Air­port early yes­ter­day morn­ing.

The 100 me­tre by 20 me­tre in­dus­trial build­ing on Sharpe Rd, which houses com­pany Manta5 Hy­dro­foil bikes, was well ablaze when fire­fight­ers ar­rived at 5.13am.

The fire broke out in the com­pany’s work­shop, caus­ing se­vere dam­age.

Up­stairs and down­stairs of­fice rooms re­ceived smoke dam­age but no other ad­ja­cent build­ings were dam­aged.

Manta5 chief ex­ec­u­tive Greg John­ston lives close to the build­ing and was alerted to the fire at

5.30am. He said fire­fight­ers had ex­tin­guished the blaze by the time he ar­rived at the scene.

‘‘The main of­fices are OK. There’s just a whole bunch of soot in there. It’s got all of our com­put­ers and we’ll dust them off and see what we can do.’’

Fire­fight­ers smashed down a glass door to get to the blaze and then had to break down a sec­ond door to check it had not spread into the neigh­bour­ing of­fice.

Manta5 leases one of 12 of the units in the com­mer­cial block.

John­ston praised fire ser­vices, say­ing they were ‘‘su­per ef­fi­cient’’ in putting out the fire as quickly as they did.

‘‘The fire guys are amaz­ing with what they did. They did a re­ally good job in iso­lat­ing the fire.’’

While the fire was not ideal, he said the busi­ness would carry on and look to move into a tem­po­rary of­fice un­til the build­ing was re­paired.

‘‘It’s about find­ing an­other premises and get­ting all of the equip­ment up and run­ning. It’s just an­other thing as a start-up, it’s pretty chal­leng­ing,’’ John­ston said. ‘‘We’ll try not to let it faze us too much. We’ll just keep push­ing ahead.’’

The fire cre­ated a hole in the roof of the work­shop and caused se­vere dam­age to a boat and other equip­ment in­side.

Two low pres­sure hoses were used to put out the fire and five ap­pli­ances, in­clud­ing sup­port crews, were called to the scene, a Fire and Emer­gency NZ spokesman said.

Fire in­ves­ti­ga­tion staff have vis­ited the site to de­ter­mine what started the blaze, which left a lot of smoke dam­age.


Smoke-dam­aged com­put­ers from the hy­dro­foil bike com­pany’s premises.

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