Fire hits Scout den

CIARA PRATT
Last updated 05:00 27/03/2014
Osana Froggatt
ROOF GUTTED: Scout leader Osana Froggatt is devastated by fire damage to her group’s hall in Henderson.

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Fire damage is once again threatening to shut down the Swanson-Lincoln Scout Group.

The organisation's den on Bittern Place in Henderson caught fire sometime between 3am and 3.30am on Tuesday morning.

Waitemata senior fire risk management officer Shaun Pilgrim says the cause of the blaze is undetermined and still under investigation, but is not thought to be suspicious.

"There has been damage to about 25 per cent of the structural part of the roof which will need to be replaced and repaired," he says.

The Swanson Scout Hall was damaged by an arson attack in 2008 and its users merged with the Lincoln Scout Group to operate under one roof as a result.

Both experienced four fires, including some suspected arsons, in 10 years and their insurance will no longer cover them.

Scout leader Osana Froggatt has been a member of the Swanson-Lincoln Scout group since she was 7 and was taking a group of Scouts the night before the latest incident.

"This place has been my home away from home for about 14 years now, I'm devastated.

"It's not about the stuff, kids come here to be safe.

"We do so much community work so hopefully the community can help us this time."

Miss Froggatt says much of the gear, including tents and stretchers, was in new condition and hardly used.

"For now we will have to base ourselves at the Kereru Massey Scout Group until it can be fixed - if we can afford it.

"That will make it difficult for some of the kids and their families to get there.

"We've got 50 kids in this group," she says.

Acting group leader Christine Gavin says the main concern is the fate of the den.

"The gear has hardly been used but it is smoke-damaged.

"Hopefully it's not a write-off and we'll try to salvage what we can.

"We don't have insurance for fire and repairs could cost over $100,000 to replace the roof.

"We could have to close because of this."

The Swanson-Lincoln Scout group has set up a givealittle page to raise a portion of the repair costs. To donate visit givealittle.co.nz/cause/SwansonLincolnDenFire.

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