Exploding gas bottles in Whakatane blaze

18:39, Feb 07 2014
Fire scene in Whakatane
NIGHT SKY: The fire in Whakatane lit up the night.

A fire crew remains at the scene of a Whakatane fire this morning, where exploding gas bottles lit up the sky last night.

A building on Pohutu St used to store gas bottles in a light industrial area caught fire about 9:40pm, a Fire Service spokesman said.

Some of the gas bottles exploded, and the back third of the 20 metre by 12 metre building collapsed, he said.

The fire was extinguished overnight and this morning a fire crew remained to dampen down hotspots and monitor the remaining acetylene gas cylinders, he said.

The cylinders were very unstable following the fire, he said.

A specialist fire investigator and police were investigating the blaze.

No-one was inside the building at the time of the fire and no injuries have been reported.

The explosions were heard around Whakatane.

On Facebook last night, Lesley Brunsden reported a ''huge explosion followed by several more, lighting up the sky.''

Gas Explosion in Whakatane tonight. First picture in: pic.twitter.com/4oqgrVMlsA


Fairfax Media