Long-serving fireman recalls scariest blaze

Riverton's chief fire officer George Seator has been fighting fires for a quarter of a century, but it was a blaze just five months ago that was the scariest he has attended.

On Saturday night Mr Seator was awarded his gold star for 25 years' service in the fire brigade.

"The scariest fire I have been involved in would have been when the house behind the Riverton Fish and Chip shop caught fire in July this year," he said.

"That fire had the potential to be really serious as the roof of the petrol station next door to it had caught fire as well."

He transferred to Riverton as a police officer in February 1987 and joined the Riverton fire brigade in May 1987.

"When you join an organisation you never think you are going to be there for 25 years, however the years just seemed to click over and you keep on doing the things you enjoy doing."

In 1992, Mr Seator was transferred back to the Invercargill police force, but remained living in the Riverton district.

He has been fire chief at Riverton for the past eight years but he has made the big decision to retire from the brigade next year.

"Attending callouts are a team effort, you are just one member in a team," Mr Seator said.

The Southland Times