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Two emergency callouts

Greytown Volunteer Fire Brigade responded to two unrelated callouts on Fabians Rd in South Wairarapa’s Morison Bush on Saturday night.

The call regarding the first incident – a crash involving a single occupant in a ute – was received at 6.35pm.

On the brigade’s arrival, the man was being looked after by ambulance crew, local residents having already provided him with care after helping him from the vehicle, which had come to rest at the bottom of a 30-metre bank after sustaining “a lot of damage” to its front, guards, and roof, a Greytown brigade spokesperson told the Times-Age.

A Westpac Life Flight rescue helicopter was able to land in the middle of a cow paddock in order to “spirit away” to hospital the “lucky young man”, who was suffering from multiple lacerations and “appeared to have a very sore chest” [the Times-Age’s request for an update on the patient’s condition had not been responded to by print time].

The call for the second incident on Fabians Rd – a fire in a single-story dwelling – was received at 11.21pm.

“It was quite heavily involved with fire by the time we arrived – we could see it over the horizon on the way there,” the spokesperson said.

The building was burning heavily at the front, which received the focus of the brigade’s initial external efforts to quell the flames.

A check of the rest of the structure established that there was no one in the building and the crew – which was joined by Carterton, Featherston, Masterton, and Remutaka brigades – attempted “an external cut off”, which involves directing more water into the blaze from the side in order to cut off the fire from advancing further in the house.

After the arrival of further resources, including a tanker, crew wearing breathing apparatus entered the building and used a ceiling hook to pull down part of the ceiling in order to attack the fire that was taking hold in the roof space.

“Being an older building, it was a plank ceiling – not one with gib like in newer buildings – which made breaking through pretty difficult,” the spokesperson said.

Although it had seemed doubtful any of the structure would survive the blaze when crew first arrived, in the end the combined efforts of the brigades saved about half of it, although it had suffered severe damage.

Police enquiries into how the fire started are ongoing.

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