Students auction off Marmite that survived house blaze

FOR SALE: Marmite and other oddities to survive a house fire.
FOR SALE: Marmite and other oddities to survive a house fire.

A burnt jar of Marmite, being auctioned off by six Palmerston North students, has managed to get nearly 90,000 views on TradeMe.

The students are selling the jar as a fundraiser, after they lost almost everything they owned when their Morris St flat was gutted in a fire on August 31.

Former tenant Hogan Gill said one of his flatmates came up with the idea to sell the "Smokey Marmite" on Trade Me to help get them some much-needed cash.

"It's one of the last remnants from the house. That, and the Penthouse poster from the bathroom.

"We were considering eating it but we thought it was far too precious to eat ourselves."

One of the flatmates had tried some, and had not fallen ill.

"He went to sleep for half an hour afterwards, but he's all good."

The Trade Me listing, being run by Jerram Tuck, gives a description of the circumstances that forced the students to auction off the jar of black gold.

"Essentially everything in the house is a write-off - if the fire didn't get to it then the heat melted it or smoke rendered it so stanky that it'll never be used again," the ad says.

"Fortunately however, this 500g jar of Marmite survived with only minor smoke damage to the exterior. It is still half-full of delicious Marmite goodness!"

The auction closes on Monday, with the highest bid already topping $130.

It had attracted plenty of views, probably by making it to the "cool auctions" category on the website.

Potential bidders inquired about the condition of the Marmite, and if the students would throw in a box of "Smokey-Bix" if the auction went over $50.

"Mate, i'd love to include the ‘Smokey-Bix' as well however unfortunately they weren't salvageable," Mr Tuck replied.

Another user asked if the Marmite was manuka smoked.

"Being an old flat, you have more chance of it being asbestos smoked," Mr Tuck said.

Mr Gill said there could be other fundraising ideas for the future, but the group had been given plenty of assistance from the Massey University Students' Association.

"They've given us a place to live for free for the year and gear from Central Rentals."

The students' association had also provided bedding and had helped restock their cupboards.

Manawatu Standard