18 Jul 2008

Fire Service investigating coolstore blaze

5:15 pm on 18 July 2008

The Fire Service hopes to determine by Monday what caused a huge fire which destroyed a large apple coolstore in Hastings.

Fire safety officers have spent the day sifting through debris in the burnt out coolstore to work out what started the fire.

Investigators have decided the fire wasn't suspicious, but haven't determined whether work being done in the coolstore had anything to do with the fire.

The blaze at a Turners and Growers coolstore began just after 9am on Thursday, destroying a large coolstore for apples and sparking another blaze nearby.

It took crews about two hours to put out the coolstore fire, but twice as long to extinguish the second one.

Embers from the first fire destroyed plastic-covered stacks containing thousands of apple-packing trays which were stored behind a packaging plant.

The Fire Service says there is no similarity between the Hastings fire and one which destroyed a coolstore near Hamilton in April, killing one firefighter and injuring seven others.