Old homestead lost in fire

19:51, Jan 23 2013
Homestead fire near Ranfurly
HISTORIC BUILDING: Fire takes hold of a homestead near Ranfurly on Tuesday night.

A fire that gutted a homestead, which was more than 100 years old, near Ranfurly on Tuesday night was caused by an electrical fault.

Ranfurly and Naseby fire crews were called to the fire at the historic mud-brick building on Dougherty Rd west of Ranfurly at 8.40pm.

Ranfurly chief fire officer James Hazlett said the building was well ablaze when crews arrived and along with trying to contain the fire in the building, firefighters had to make sure the fire did not spread to nearby vegetation.

Foam and flame retardant was spread around the vegetation while the fire was contained.

A hunter who was staying in the building was away when the fire took hold and returned to find it ablaze.

Although he was not injured in the fire, the man did need medical attention after suffering from what appeared to be stress or shock, Mr Hazlett said.

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The fire had been caused by an electrical fault as power was the only thing that was being used at the time, Mr Hazlett said.

The building was used as free accommodation for hunters in the area and was owned by the Dougherty family.

Carol Dougherty said the homestead had been used by six generations of the family for more than 100 years. "It's terrible. The shock was pretty terrible."

Sadly the homestead had been filled with hunting memorabilia, such as deer heads, which were lost in the fire, Mrs Dougherty said.

However, a positive was that no-one had been hurt in the fire.

"It was used by hunters who wanted to rough it," she said.

The Southland Times