9 Mar 2016

Waiheke mansion to be burnt to the ground

3:04 pm on 9 March 2016

The opportunity to burn down a multi-million dollar property on Waiheke Island will be a great training exercise, a senior firefighter says.

This Waiheke mansion is set to burn to the ground.

This Waiheke mansion is set to burn to the ground. Photo: RAY WHITE/ YOUTUBE

The two-level house at Boatshed Bay - which reportedly sold for more than $14 million just two years ago - will be razed for the Waiheke Volunteer Fire Brigade on Saturday.

Counties Manukau fire service area commander, Larry Cocker, said it was a fantastic opportunity.

"It's not everyday people want to completely demolish a structure."

The Fire Service had to jump through hoops to be able to do this, and several protective measures will be in place on the day.

"The use of a property to burn has to meet a whole raft of criteria from our perspective. For example: closeness to neighbours, closeness to other structures, closeness to vegetation, water issues, traffic issues, smoke issues."

It was the best training possible, and extremely rare, he said.

"We'll light a number of small fires, teach our volunteer and younger staff how to approach fires in smokey conditions.

"We'll put small fires out, then we'll talk to them about fire investigation. The learning from an opportunity like this is huge for our people. It's not just a matter of burning the house down."

Staff have spent the past week prepping the property by checking for holes in the floor and other unsafe conditions.

"The safety of - in this case - our volunteer staff is paramount. We have a number of things that we check (is the power off, no hazardous material in the building). We try and do this training in the safest possible way."