Fire forces Rolleston factory evacuation

01:17, Jan 10 2014
Fire at CRT
EVACUATED: Fire was in a seed hopper at the CRT Farmlands mill.

A Rolleston seed factory was evacuated this morning after a hopper bin caught on fire.

The fire in a seed hopper at the CRT Farmlands mill was reported about 11.25am today, with firefighters from Lincoln, Burnham and Rolleston stations rushing to attend.

Canterbury area manager David Berry said it was a "minor fire", but all staff evacuated the factory as in line with standard procedure.

Firefighters on the move
ON THE MOVE: Firefighters rush to Rolleston.

Firefighters remained on site for about an hour after the blaze was extinguished to dampen down hot spots. 

"It's all well under control."

The cause of the fire had not been confirmed, but was possibly caused by friction on the hopper's belt, Berry said.

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Fire Service spokesman Riwai Grace said some Rolleston firefighters were diverted from the seed factory incident to attend a medical incidence nearby. 

Rolleston's volunteer firefighters usually acted as first responders to medical incidents in the Rolleston area as St John did not have a dedicated base in the Selwyn town. 

Grace said Rolleston firefighters attended about 100 medical incidents a year, but had been doing that "for a long time". 

St John South Island general manager David Thomas told The Press recently that the ambulance service expected it would need to put more vehicles in the Selwyn and Waimakariri districts in the near future.

"The city is changing rapidly; we're seeing rapid growth in Rolleston and Rangiora. No doubt we'll have to put more vehicles in those areas."

The Press