Blaze causes severe damage to start-up’s workshop
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.