A $350,000 digger was damaged in a fire at the New Plymouth dump last night.
Firefighters spent more than an hour at the Colson Rd Transfer Station putting out a blaze in the covered pit area, Senior Station Officer Nick Burke said.
''When we arrived there was a whole lot of rubbish on fire,'' he said.
''We are not sure what caused it but the manager thinks it was deliberately lit.''
About 15 to 20 tonnes of rubbish and the digger were in the pit at the time, manager Ian Coombe said.
''It was left for half of Saturday and all of Sunday, while we waited to reopen today,'' he said.
''It could have been deliberately lit, I've been here 15 years and we've never had a fire at all,'' Coombe said.
Burke said the fire, which started about 10.55pm, damaged the back end of the digger and some other equipment.
Firefighters were able to put the blaze out before the digger was completely destroyed, he said.
''At a price of $350,000 I would have been very disappointed if it had have been (destroyed),'' Coombe said.
Burke said two crews attended the scene, with one fire engine being used to ferry water from Smart Rd to the site.
Coombe said police would be investigating the cause of the fire.
''There wasn't much you could do at 1am in the morning but they are looking into it.''
- Taranaki Daily News
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