Pauatahanui Store reopens after fire

KERRY MCBRIDE
Last updated 15:54 05/02/2013
fire
PHIL REID/Fairfax NZ

ON THE SCENE: A fire engine at the Pauatahanui General Store where a fire broke out in the kitchen on Sunday.

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Porirua

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The Pauatahanui General Store has reopened following a fire on Sunday that caused extensive damage to the 150-year-old store's kitchen.

The blaze, which started in a deep-frying vat in the rear of the building around 11.30am, took 40 minutes for firefighters to bring under control.

Porirua City Council environmental services manager Jim Sutton said the council's health officers had visited the Paekakariki Hill Rd site and established most of the store was safe to remain open.

''The fire was mainly contained to the takeaway area and that space is quite badly damaged. It won't be used until it's fixed up.''

But with perishable stock cleared from the site and very little damage to the rest of the store, the owners were approved to remain open, Mr Sutton said.

''We are quite comfortable with what steps they have taken to make sure they can operate the grocery store and the foods they are selling should be fine.''

Daryl Ellis, who owns the neighbouring GroundUp cafe, said he had raised concerns with the owners previously over the fire risk the takeaway area posed.

''There's no fire rated wall or anything between our properties, nothing has changed. Another week from now it could burn down again.''

Landlord Albert Ng, who owns both properties, said his insurance company was already looking into what needs to be done to fireproof the buildings.

''I'm happy for the cafe people to put up a fire prevention wall - it's only one small section of the shop damaged, everything else is working fine.''

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- The Dominion Post

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