17 Jul 2008

Hastings coolstore fires extinguished

9:36 pm on 17 July 2008

Two large fires on the outskirts of Hastings are out after burning for several hours.

The first blaze started just after nine o'clock on Thursday morning and destroyed a large coolstore for apples. It was extinguished later that morning.

Another fire, which broke out in apple packing trays about 150 metres away, was put out on Thursday evening.

It is believed embers from the coolstore fire caused the second blaze. The cause of the first fire is not yet known.

The Turners and Growers coolstore on the northern outskirts of Hastings is among a large group of apple storage facilities.

Fire Service Incident Controller Chris Nicholl says the coolstore was well alight when firefighters arrived, but they managed to save an ammonium plant and other coolstores nearby.

Mr Nicholl says ash from the coolstore's roof has spread over a large residential area and there have been complaints from Whakatu residents about smoke affecting their breathing.

Residents nearby were advised to stay inside their homes, and no one has been evacuated.