NZ Local News

Hamilton fire spewing toxic smoke near The Base put out after residents told to stay inside

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A large fire in Te Rapa, Hamilton, has been extinguished, with the stay-inside warning for residents of Rototuna and Chartwell now lifted.

The fire at a boat storage building started at about 5.30pm and caused a toxic smoke plume to drift over the suburbs to the east of the scene.

An emergency mobile alert was sent to warn residents to stay inside with their windows and doors closed to avoid the smoke.

This warning was lifted about 9pm, shortly after the fire was confirmed as extinguished.

Four trucks remain on the scene as at 9pm.

An investigation into the cause of the fire will begin tomorrow.

Earlier this evening, emergency services warned people in Chartwell and Rototuna to remain inside and close windows and doors while firefighters tried to douse the building fire.

A fire broke out near a major shopping mall in Hamilton’s Te Rapa, sending thick black smoke spewing out over the area, prompting the alert about 7pm.

Resident in the Hamilton suburbs of Chartwell and Rototuna were advised to stay inside with their windows and doors closed as Fire and Emergency battled a large fire in Te Rapa, Hamilton.
Resident in the Hamilton suburbs of Chartwell and Rototuna were advised to stay inside with their windows and doors closed as Fire and Emergency battled a large fire in Te Rapa, Hamilton.

The building is used as storage for a marine vessel shop, with reports that boats and jet skis were on fire inside.

Police closed Te Rapa Rd from the intersection with Pukete Rd and Manchester Place to the Byrant Rd and Sunshine Ave roundabout.

Bystanders told the Herald they could see fire trucks moving in to douse the flames and the blazing building was being evacuated.

Photographs show flames leaping from the roof behind MasterCraft on Te Rapa Rd, near The Base shopping mall.

A Fire and Emergency New Zealand (Fenz) spokesman earlier said residents in Chartwell and Rototuna should shelter inside to avoid the acrid smoke.

A police spokesman said the fire was reported at 5.31pm and asked motorists to avoid the area. Photo / Christine Martin
A police spokesman said the fire was reported at 5.31pm and asked motorists to avoid the area. Photo / Christine Martin

Fenz got multiple calls to the fire from about 5.30pm and when crews arrived they found the building well involved in flames.

“Crews are continuing to work to extinguish the fire. The building is used as boat storage,” the spokesman said.

A fire burns on Te Rapa Rd, Hamilton. Photo / Christine Martin
A fire burns on Te Rapa Rd, Hamilton. Photo / Christine Martin

Bystanders have told the Herald they could see fire trucks moving in to douse the flames and the building ablaze was being evacuated.
Bystanders have told the Herald they could see fire trucks moving in to douse the flames and the building ablaze was being evacuated.

Fenz northern communications centre shift manager Michael Anderson said eight fire trucks were battling the blaze. A ladder truck was on the scene as well as a command unit, two water tankers and five support vehicles.

“The public are asked to avoid the Te Rapa area until further notice,” the spokesman said.

A police spokesman said the fire was reported at 5.31pm and asked motorists to avoid the area.

Raphael Franks is an Auckland-based reporter who covers breaking news. He joined the Herald as a Te Rito cadet in 2022.



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