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Builder’s shed destroyed by fire

The remains of a builder’s shed in Martinborough, burned to the ground on Wednesday evening. PHOTOS/EMMA BROWN

Neighbours amazed by large flames

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A Martinborough neighbourhood watched in shock on Wednesday evening as a builder’s workshed was destroyed by fire.

The Martinborough fire brigade was called out just before 6.30pm to the large fire on the corner of Broadway and Naples streets.

The blaze completely destroyed the building, leaving only charred ruins on the site.

Small gas cylinders from the builders’ tools could be heard exploding as the fire crews fought the blaze.

A large concrete fire wall prevented it from spreading to a neighbouring house.

An exploded diver’s air tank could be seen next to two intact tanks on Thursday morning.

“The fire was well ablaze when we got there,” Martinborough chief fire officer Jake Hawkins said, but it was brought under control in about 10 minutes.

“The team did really, really well.”

The owner planned to look through the debris to see what could be salvaged.

Fire crews from stations in Featherston and Masterton also attended, and crews remained at the scene until around 11.30pm.

“It was great to have the neighbouring brigades to lend a hand to tidy up,” said Hawkins, who was only promoted to chief on Tuesday night.

A broken water pipe was left running overnight as it helpfully sent a stream of water over the section.

Hawkins said the first job on arrival was to protect the house next door before work began to contain the blaze.

“It was a good outcome as there were no injuries,” he said.

The shed’s owner, who did not wish to be named, was visibly upset by the damage to his property.

The builder used the shed as his workshop and kept a lot of tools and materials from jobs at the site.

He was planning to search the debris to see what could be salvaged.

Fortunately, he had taken some of his tools to a work site, so not everything was lost.

Neighbour Mari Croll said she heard the fire alarm go off and then another neighbour ran over and started banging and yelling for her to get out.

She could see the blaze out her bathroom window and what she described as “horrendous smoke”, and thought, “Oh, far out”.

“I could see fire trucks everywhere,” Croll said.

Another neighbour, Brian Deverill, said he wasn’t home at the time of the fire but got a message telling him to delay returning.

“We have a rather nervous cat this morning,” he said.

Others in the neighbourhood stood behind the cordon during the fire and were amazed at the large flames coming from the shed.

A fire investigator was due on site on Thursday afternoon to see if the cause of the fire could be determined.

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