Firefighters hope public gets message
Riverton's historic Aparima Tavern could have been saved if a member of the public who saw smoke coming from the building had called the fire brigade, the town's fire chief says.
This was a message portrayed at the Riverton fire station open day at the weekend.
Visitors were advised on what to do during a fire, including the importance of calling the fire brigade.
Riverton chief fire officer Helen Bull said the event was run on the back of the Aparima Tavern fire in July, caused by a faulty electrical cable in the kitchen.
The tavern could have been saved if someone called the brigade, she said. "A lot of people saw the smoke and thought it was rubbish burning . . . they could have investigated it or called it in."
Mrs Bull said she knew of people who drove past the tavern up to 30 minutes before firefighters got there. It was better to be safe than sorry, particularly when smoke was coming from a built-up area, she said.
At the open day, a lot of interest was shown in the kitchen fire demonstration, which showed a pot of oil catching on fire. People learned not to put water on burning oil because it would explode, but to instead cover it, turn the heat off and leave it, she said.
The event went "really well", with about 80 people attending, and it was possible it could become an annual or biennial event, she said.
It was the first combined emergency services open day between fire, police, ambulance and the coastguard.
St John ambulance delivered free blood-pressure checks and the coastguard showed people around its boat and delivered boat safety information.
- © Fairfax NZ News
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