House razed for good cause

18:07, Mar 09 2014
tekapo fire
UP IN FLAMES: The Lake Tekapo volunteer fire brigade burns down a house for a training exercise.

There was no cause for alarm as a house burnt to the ground in Lake Tekapo yesterday.

Twelve Lake Tekapo volunteer firefighters were trained in fighting house fires yesterday when the owners of a house on the corner of Allan and Greig streets donated it to the local fire brigade to be used as a training tool.

The owners plan to build units on the property.

Lake Tekapo fire training officer Bob Mortimer said it was an amazing opportunity for the volunteer officers to see first hand what a fire was like and to learn how to fight fires in a controlled environment.

"It's invaluable experience.

"Some of the officers are new, some are experienced, but not many of them have seen a fire of this size, and it's a great way to to teach them how to operate in this situation," Mr Mortimer said.

The exercise was controlled, with protective coverings on the surrounding properties, permission from Environment Canterbury and a strategic plan of attack from fire engineers who were Throughout the exercise there was a steady crowd of spectators, comprising mainly residents who had been notified of the exercise and wanted to see a fire of that scale close up.

Lake Tekapo resident Kylee Smith said she had felt sentimental as she watched it burn.

"It's actually quite sad. It's been there for years. I know it's great for the town, but I feel a wee bit sorry for the poor house," she said.


The Timaru Herald