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Passer-by contains shed fire

MARYKE PENMAN
Last updated 05:00 13/11/2012

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A mystery passer-by extinguished a fire that could have caused thousands of dollars worth of damage to a storage shed at Guy Fawkes.

The North Shore Cricket Club shed in Devonport was set alight at around 3.30pm on Sunday, November 4 when fireworks were pushed through a metal grate on the side of the building.

Club cricket manager Bruce Warner says highly flammable chemicals stored in the shed could have caused extreme danger had they caught alight.

"We've got a lot of fertiliser and paint and a truck parked in there so it could have been a major disaster."

Albany Fire station officer Ron Henderson says the fireworks damaged signage and melted a large plastic paint drum but the fire was mostly contained once they arrived.

Mr Henderson says the actions of a quick-thinking local man, who has yet to be identified, saved the cricket club damage to expensive maintenance equipment and machinery stored in the shed.

He says the man fed a nearby hose through the metal grate which kept the fire from spreading.

"It is a concrete block shed with an iron roof and so the heat buildup in there would have been horrendous.

"Had it got ahold the fire could have caused real dollar damage, so it was with some degree of luck that this man was walking by," Mr Henderson says.

Because of the small opening the fireworks were pushed through, Mr Henderson believes the fire could have been started by children.

"There was definitely foul play involved. This was deliberate," he says.

No structural damage to the building occurred and the scene was contained within an hour of the fire service arriving.

Mr Henderson says police attended but investigations so far have proved difficult because of the absence of witnesses.

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- North Shore Times

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