Historic Queenstown house up in flames
Saved by a smoke detectorRACHEL YOUNG
A "loved and cherished" historic Queenstown property has gone up in flames.
A Fire Service spokesman said firefighters were called to the property in Lower Shotover Rd, near Queenstown, about 7:20am today.
Homeowner Phillip George watched in disbelief as flames engulfed the property.
"We woke in the early hours of the morning to smoke and smoke detectors saved us and our friends," he said. "The home we loved and cherished and it's a tragedy for Queenstown to see such a historic home go up in flames."
"We are sadly dealing with this this morning."
George thanked the Queenstown fire service for their efforts.
"They were relentless in their efforts to save the property."
He said they were a "dream to deal with" and showed a lot of understanding of their situation.
A witness said the inferno was terrifying.
"It was huge. It must be a million-plus house and section. I turned up, there was screaming ... there's nothing left of it. Something's exploded inside, the gas supply or something, and fire was shooting 30 feet into the air."
Firefighters from Queenstown, Frankton and Arrowtown are battling the blaze.
A Fire Service spokesman it was too early to say what had caused the fire.
By 1pm, a Fire Service spokesman said the fire was out.
A fire investigator was en route from Invercargill to Queenstown.
How will your family celebrate Christmas Day?Related story: Christmas Day warm, dry for Cantabs
• Newsroom 03-943 2827 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
• Classified Ads: 03-3778778 or email email@example.com
• Display and Online Ads: 03-3648285 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
• General inquiries: 03 379 0940
• Subscribe to The Press
• Deliveries, subscriptions, holiday stop/starts: 03 364 8464, or email: email@example.com
• No paper or holiday stop/starts: action online
• Buy a photo
• Newspaper subscribers - register for the digital edition
• Make press.co.nz your homepage
Read Press extras for Avenues, fashion, home design and weddings
Births, weddings, engagements
Death notices and in memoriam