Snow maker helps extinguish ski field fire
Ski-field staff wielding snow-making machine hoses extinguished a blaze at a Turoa Ski Area cafe on the southwestern slopes of Mt Ruapehu this evening.
By the time fire services arrived to battle a blaze at the Snowflake Cafe, mountain night staff had managed to quell the flames with snow-making machine hoses and fire extinguishers, western region specialist fire investigator John Hotter said.
A fire central communications spokesman said the blaze was reported shortly after 6.30pm today, by which point the Snowflake Cafe, located mid-field, just off the Parklane lift, was well alight.
By the time fire crews from Ohakune and Raetihi arrived at the skifield the cafe was choked with smoke but the blaze had been mostly extiguished, Mr Hotter said.
''The staff were already up there. They used multiple fire extinguishers and their snow-making hoses, they actually had mostly extinguished it by the time the appliances arrived,'' he said.
''The staff handled it very well.''
The source of the fire appeared to be a faulty water cooler which had caught fire, causing flames to lick up into the cafe's roof, Mr Hotter said.
There were no people trapped in the building and the cafe suffered water damage, Mr Hotter said.
- © Fairfax NZ News
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