11 May 2009

Fire damages lavish Taupo lakefront hotel

10:12 pm on 11 May 2009

A lavish Taupo lakefront hotel has been badly damaged after a large fire ripped through the complex on Monday.

Fire crews have contained the blaze which damaged about half of Manuel's Taupo.

Northern Fire Communications was inundated with emergency calls when plumes of black smoke began blanketing the sky above the central North Island town about 3pm.

The hotel boasts prime views from its conference and motel facilities on the shores of Lake Taupo.

But business was cut short when a suspected electrical fire took hold in the roof above the hotel reception area.

Fire crews from Taupo, Rotorua and Hamilton were called to the blaze.

Incident controller Stuart Bootten says it was fortunate the crews managed to stop the fire from spreading down two accommodation wings attached to the reception area.

No one was injured in the blaze.

Lake Taupo Accommodation Association president Wendy O'Callaghan described the fire as "gut-wrenching" for an establishment that is very valuable to the local conference market.

Ms O'Callaghan says displaced guests are being housed at nearby motels.