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Gladstone home in ruins

Fire and Emergency have confirmed a blaze in Gladstone is not being treated as suspicious. PHOTOS/MARY ARGUE

Firefighters battle blaze
Close to 35 firefighters and operational support staff spent several hours fighting the Gladstone blaze.

A blaze in Gladstone has triggered one of the highest escalations from the region’s fire brigades in recent years.

Firefighters battling a house fire on Gladstone Rd on Monday night reached the “third alarm stage” out of five, shutting down the road and calling in three water tankers.

Officer in charge Brendon Allen said the response was similar to that of the 2021 Carterton High St fire.

More than 10 Fire and Emergency [FENZ] vehicles responded to the blaze, called in by multiple people at 8.30pm.

No one was injured, but several structures on the rural property were damaged.

Allen said the fire was “well-involved” by the time the first responders from Carterton arrived, with flames engulfing the entire house, carport, and sleepout.

He said the owners of the property “did exactly the right thing” and were waiting for crews at the entrance to the property. He said they had somewhere to stay that night, but it was obviously “very distressing”.

Allen said the first action was to protect a nearby campervan on the property. He said while the house was still standing, the damage was significant, and it was unlikely to be recoverable.

At 10pm crew inside the house were pulled back as the roof began to obviously sag.

Allen said the alarm level on the fire escalated quickly with backup arriving from Greytown, Masterton, and a water tanker from Remutaka

About 35 firefighters and operational support staff attended, closing Gladstone Rd in the process.

Allen said the three water tankers carrying close to 30,000 litres combined, were refilled at least three times from the nearby river in the first hour and a half.

FENZ group manager Craig Cottrill said crews remained at the site “well after midnight” and a fire investigator returned to the scene on Tuesday morning.

He said the fire was not being treated as suspicious and confirmed that the blaze had started in a sleepout before leaping to the carport and main house.

Mary Argue
Mary Argue
Mary Argue is a reporter at the Wairarapa Times-Age with an interest in justice and the region’s emergency services, regularly covering Masterton District Court, Fire and Emergency and Police.

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