Fire closes CBS Arena

Last updated 10:00 15/03/2014

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The CBS Arena is under ‘‘lock down’’ after a fire, believed to have been sparked by a spa pool, caused extensive water damage. 

The Fire Service responded to a sprinkler system alarm at the arena in the early hours of this morning. The blaze was under control in about an hour. 

An anonymous source said the fire had been caused by a spa pool which was part of a show display, however fire investigators were still on site. 

A Fire Service spokesman said the fire was of a medium size, but the most damage had been caused by the sprinkler system. 

Vbase venue management general manager Darren Burden said the extent of the damage would not be known until staff could get inside the building. 

The Rebuild and Renovate Christchurch Home Show  was cancelled and exhibitors were locked out of the building. 

‘‘I really feel for the exhibitors,’’ Burden said. ‘‘All that time and effort.’’

The home show was open yesterday and had a strong turnout, Burden said. 

Home show exhibitors would be locked out of the arena until at least Sunday evening, when they might be allowed in to pack up their displays. 

Carpet Mill sales representative Todd Flygenring said with the show cancelled, he planned to head back to his family in Nelson before the coming storm. 

While he could see his display area inside the arena was undamaged, he did not think clean up would be allowed until tomorrow.

Exhibition director Amanda Magnus said the show was at the mercy of Vbase and the Fire Service. She said all ticket holder for Saturday and Sunday shows would be refunded.

Burden said clean up would begin as soon as staff were allowed back into the building. He would be calling in extra staff to assist. Most of the work would involved getting the mobile stands outside and drying the place out. The first priority was to get the sprinkler system back up and running as its operation was a condition of re-entering the building.

Burden said cleanup would likely be finished by Tuesday. He did not think Lionel Richie's Thursday night concert would be affected. 


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