Blaze strikes food warehouse
A large fire ripped through a food storage factory in Blenheim early Saturday morning.
Four fire crews were called to Up Marketing Wholesale Food Distributors, at Timandra Place, about 3.30am.
Chief fire officer Rob Dalton said it took about 24 firefighters to bring the blaze under control.
They were still working to douse potential hotspots at 9am.
Tackling the blaze was initially slow because it was difficult to access the building, Mr Dalton said. They had to tear open roller doors and remove part of the building's metal cladding.
"The place was locked up tight and once we got in the fire was well established. Because we couldn't see anything we had to fight in a defensive mode."
The fire was mostly in the roof section of the warehouse but had spread into an office, Mr Dalton said.
Parts of the metal frame had sagged and buckled with the heat.
The factory was full of onions, avocados, tomatoes and eggs with other goods in chillers and freezers.
"Anything you would see in a supermarket but in bigger quantities."
Investigations into how the fire started were ongoing, he said.
The owner was notified of the blaze by his security company after an alarm was activated inside the building.
He did not want to be named, but a family member said the fire was "well alive" by the time they arrived.
They were still at the scene at 11am on Saturday, watching as investigations were carried out.
- The Marlborough Express