A Motueka couple have been devastated by a garage fire that destroyed three vehicles at their Motueka Quay home.
Motueka Volunteer Fire Brigade chief fire officer Mike Riddell said a fire investigator determined the fire was caused by ashes being stored in a combustible container, thought to be a garden bag.
Six appliances attended the blaze yesterday morning, as the Motueka brigade called in reinforcements for more breathing gear, Mr Riddell said.
The vehicles, two late model cars and a truck, were in a double garage and attached car port and the fire spread to a garden shed that contained a ride-on lawn mower and other equipment.
Mr Riddell said the fire emphasised the danger of storing ashes. He said the couple usually used a metal bucket, as recommended by the brigade, and spread them on the garden.
The ashes were two days old and Mr Riddell said he had attended fires caused by ashes that were seven days old.
"They are quite dormant in the heat they can store," he said.
"The couple lost a large amount of property and it's been quite devastating to them."
He said there was no danger to the house but that the fire was an intense one that took more than an hour to put out.
He recommended putting ashes in a metal bucket and then flooding them overnight to make sure any heat was extinguished.
- © Fairfax NZ News
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