A hoax call on Saturday night wasted Timaru and St Andrews fire services' resources and could have led to dangerous consequences.
Timaru station officer Trevor Karton said two engines and two tankers, one from each station, were dispatched to the non existent "garage fire" leaving the stations vulnerable.
"It is really annoying and stretches valuable resources," Karton said. He was concerned that if a real fire had broken out the services would not be able to attend in time.
Earlier in the day the Timaru service put out a fire in a Gleniti house after baking in an oven burst into flames.
Karton said it appeared the person baking had been distracted by a new pet.
- The Timaru Herald