Burn-off flames escape drum

MICHELE ONG
Last updated 05:00 23/11/2013

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A South Taranaki resident's yard caught fire yesterday after a controlled burn-off went awry.

Jeff Maguire, of Okaiawa, was burning rubbish in a fire drum when "flames blew up inside the drum" and spread over the grass and also onto scrap metal on the ground.

Fortunately Mr Maguire's Normanby Rd property was about two-minutes from the Okaiawa Volunteer Fire Brigade, which was called to the scene at 2pm.

Former neighbour Gordon Cummings, of Stratford, was dropping by when he saw "firemen everywhere" on Mr Maguire's property.

Mr Cummings said his friend was "very lucky" to be unhurt. "I initially thought the house was on fire," he said.

Okaiawa station senior officer Alister Mason said Mr Maguire was lighting the rubbish bin when wind conditions changed, causing the fire to spread through long, dry grass.

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- Taranaki Daily News

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