Teen hurt in backyard fire

HOUSE WRECKED: Fire crews were called to a St Andrews address following an out of control rubbish fire left a sleepout, woodshed and garage gutted.
HOUSE WRECKED: Fire crews were called to a St Andrews address following an out of control rubbish fire left a sleepout, woodshed and garage gutted.

A teenager treated for extensive burns remains in a stable condition after he fell into a backyard fire in Temuka early Sunday morning.

The 17-year-old had burns on his back and arms in the incident, which happened about 3.20am at a Hally Tce address. He was taken to Timaru Hospital in a stable condition but later transferred to Christchurch Hospital.

A Canterbury District Health Board spokesperson this afternoon said he remained in a ''comfortable condition''.

"Generally [a comfortable condition] means the patient is responding well to treatment so all their vital signs are stable, within normal limits, patient conscious and comfortable, indicators favourable and they are recovering,'' the spokesperson said.

Temuka Volunteer Fire Brigade officers provided first aid for 20 minutes until St John paramedics arrived after the incident.


Meanwhile in a busy weekend for emergency services throughout South Canterbury, an out-of-control rubbish fire destroyed a St Andrews sleepout, garage and woodshed, narrowly missing a house.

Thirty-four firefighters from Timaru, St Andrews, Washdyke, Waimate, Temuka, Cave and Albury battled the blaze on State Highway 1, north of St Andrews, on Saturday.

Fire crews were called at 12.30pm to what was initially classed as a hedge fire, Timaru station officer Trevor Karton said.

Principal rural fire officer Rob Hands said wind was a contributing factor.

"It appeared a landowner was burning rubbish in windy conditions, which is not advised, and the fire's escaped and destroyed a garage and woodshed; and threatened a house."

Fire crews closed part of the highway briefly when thick smoke made driving hazardous.

St John staff treated a woman at the scene for smoke inhalation and a firefighter for what was understood to be heat exhaustion.

Mr Hands said the incident was a reminder for people to monitor the weather before burning rubbish and to ensure they have water close by.

A fertiliser company is $10,000 out of pocket a burglary on Friday night.

The burglary, at a limestone quarry in Taiko Rd, involved the theft of tools and GPS systems specially designed for fertiliser trucks.

"From what the owner's said, they are only good for fertiliser trucks," Temuka Constable Richard Pattie said.

The burglary happened some time between 6pm Friday and 8am Saturday.

Police are appealing for witnesses after a spate of graffiti in the Marchwiel area.

Several private properties were targeted, along with early learning centre ABC Marchwiel and vehicles. Offensive language and acronyms were among the words painted.

The early learning centre was one of the hardest hit. Graffiti was scrawled on two of its signs and the building itself.

Police were busy fielding calls yesterday from people affected by the vandalism, a spokesman said.

The busy schedule started on Friday night during the Geraldine Christmas parade. A 111 call forced emergency services to abandon the parade when they were called to a two-car crash in Te Moana Rd.

Geraldine Volunteer Fire Brigade deputy chief Graeme Mould said two women sustained minor injuries after the vehicles they were in crashed head on.

Mr Mould said emergency services taking part in the festivities were forced to make a quick departure.

For the fire brigade, that meant "chucking out all the balloons" from the back of the trucks faster than initially planned. For the St John ambulance personnel it meant taking deer antlers off the vehicle.

The Timaru Herald