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Whareama fire: 30 years gone in under 30 minutes

Firefighters at the Langdale Rd property. PHOTOS/JOHN LAZO-RON

Fire crews did ‘great job’

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A family from Whareama have lost everything after a large blaze burnt their home completely to the ground on Thursday afternoon.

Four fire crews and water tankers from Carterton and Masterton were needed to extinguish the fire but were not able to save the house in the end.

Masterton Fire Station officer Kevin Smith said the cause of the fire was yet to be determined and that they were likely to remain at the scene to avoid more fire-related issues.

No one was inside the home at the time or was injured by the fire.

The large fire was a threat to nearby Whareama School, but Smith said they were able to prevent the fire from reaching it.

Emergency services on Langdale Rd, Masterton.

Though the fire crews were not able to save the house, they prevented matters from getting worse by removing oxyacetylene cylinders from the garage before the flames reached it.

A witness said they could see the smoke from their home a couple of kilometres away.

They rushed to the home to help, but by the time they got there, all they could see was ash and smoke.

“It was completely munted,” they said.

The owner of the home, who wished to remain anonymous, was in the garage when the fire began.

Smelling smoke, he went out to see his home totally engulfed in flames.

Due to the lack of mobile reception, the owner had to rush to the nearby church to ring 111.

“I was here in my garage,” the owner said.

“I went out when I could smell smoke and couldn’t believe what I was seeing. I just got the dog, jumped in the truck and went straight to the church.

“I’m just glad no one was inside and that the school never went up.”

The owner said the home was a legacy to him and his family.

“My parents built that home, so it’s hard. I just saw 30 years of history just go up in flames.”

Despite the calamities, the owner and nearby witnesses had praise for the fire crew.

“They’ve done a great job, and they’ve saved what they could save.

“They had the LPG cylinders going up, and they were still in there going forward rather than coming out.”

The family will stay at the property’s sleepout for now because it was not damaged by the fire.

A fire scene investigator headed back to the house yesterday to make further inquiries.

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