Calves die in fire
At least seven calves have died in a barn fire on a farm at Tuamarina, near Blenheim, early today, a firefighter says.
Firefighters were called to the fire on Hunter Rd, off State Highway 1, at 6.20am.
Rarangi brigade chief fire officer Steve Banks said seven or eight calves and a tractor were in the 15m by 6m hay barn. The calves died and the tractor had been destroyed.
The fire gutted three-quarters of the barn and took more than three hours to contain, Mr Banks said.
Marlborough principal rural fire officer Ross Hamilton, who was at the scene, said the last of the fire was being left to burn out.
The farm owner had asked them to leave it to burn down as he would rebuild on the same site, Mr Hamilton said.
Wood chips had been moved out of the barn, but there had been nothing else to salvage, he said.
The surrounding area had been wet down to contain the fire.
The cause of the fire is not known and will be investigated by a fire safety officer, Mr Hamilton said.
Five fire crews helped put out the fire - two from Rarangi, two from Blenheim and a water tanker from Blenheim rural fire service.
Two appliances from Rarangi and the water tanker left the scene about 10am.
Despite the heavy rain and floods this week, a structure fire could happen at any time, he said.
The Marlborough Express