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Probe into blaze at yard

Owners of car wreckers “thankful” no one hurt in drama. PLUS – video
Posted on 23 February, 2021
Probe into blaze at yard

An investigation is under way after flames engulfed a Bay of Plenty car wreckers’ yard and sent plumes of smoke into the sky.

The blaze at RIP Car Wreckers in Whakatane started at about 11am on February 22 and was attended to by six fire crews.

A Fire and Emergency NZ spokesman says no one was injured in the fire that engulfed a building measuring 40m by 20m and some of the surrounding vehicles. Investigators had visited the scene and were trying to determine the cause.

Matthew Lack and Nicole Rackham, the owners of the business since December 2019, were out of town when the fire struck and say the incident is “devastating”.

“We were so thankful to hear that no one had been hurt,” they told the NZ Herald. “We are okay with the aftermath of what happened because of that. People can't be replaced, everything else can.”

Witnesses reported being able to smell burning tyres and hearing gas cylinders exploding at the peak of the blaze that produced plumes of “thick, black smoke”.