No trace of school fire cause

Last updated 16:43 15/11/2012
Whangamata Area School
Bruce Mercer/ Fairfax NZ

GUTTED: Whangamata Area School principal Ross Preece amid the devastation caused by yesterday’s technology department fire.

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Whangamata police are struggling to understand what caused a "$1 million" fire which tore through a school's technology department.

Whangamata Area School's technology department was gutted by a fire yesterday morning.

Police had been at the school all day today trying to establish the cause of the fire, but hadn't been able to find any clues as to what was behind the devastating blaze, Detective Sergeant Martyn Hughes said.

"To date no accelerant has been identified and there is nothing to suggest the fire was malicious, however, the investigation will continue to be treated as an unexplained fire until such time as we have information that determines what has occurred."

The fire broke out about 11am in the woodwork room and quickly spread to the rest of the technology department.

Principal Ross Preece estimated about $1 million worth of equipment was damaged, including metal lathes, drill presses, mig welders and automotive hoists.

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