Mt Eden fire cause found

Electrical fault to blame for shop blaze

Last updated 05:00 28/09/2012
Peter Lahood
CLOSE CALL: Peter Lahood is picking up the pieces after a fire damaged his Mt Eden business, which investigators say originated with an electrical fault.

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An electrical fault is to blame for a large-scale blaze at a Mt Eden business, a fire investigator says.

Two-storey home interior shop Lahood on Mt Eden Rd was ravaged by fire last Friday morning. The fire sent smoke billowing across the city and closed roads.

More than 80 firefighters attended the scene, and one was taken to Auckland City Hospital with smoke inhalation. He spent three nights there.

Fire investigator Mike McEnaney said an electrical problem triggered the blaze.

''There's been a fire in the ceiling void area. It has been able to get well-established prior to being noticed. It's one of those awkward things - you can't check wiring all the time.''

Owner Peter Lahood said one of the office staff smelt smoke before the blaze and alerted others.

Six workers were in the building.

''We knew how many were upstairs and how many were downstairs. I rang the fire brigade on my way out.''

Lahood said staff have relocated to an office next door and resumed work as normal.

''It's an awful incident that's happened. We were very fortunate that in the building was our showroom and offices. Our manufacturing is offsite.''

Lahood staff are now in discussions with the building's owner to refurbish it.

''It will be about six months before we get back in there,'' Lahood said.

''The top is damaged but the bottom is only smoke-damaged. After the Christchurch earthquake I reassessed all of our insurance to make sure we were covered in all situations.''

He had been inundated with phone calls and emails of support following the fire.

''It's going to be a big transition but it's business as normal.''

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- Auckland Now


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