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White Swan survives blaze

Firefighters attending a fire that broke out at Greytown’s White Swan Hotel yesterday. PHOTO/ELISA VORSTER

ELISA VORSTER

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Greytown’s iconic White Swan Country Hotel was under threat yesterday when a fire broke out in the roof cavity in one of its upstairs rooms.

Hotel manager Dale Keith said hotel staff were alerted to the fire by smoke detectors at around 2.30pm and seven fire engines and a tanker responded.

The fire was thought to have started near a chimney flue, causing damage to the roof cavity.

Mr Keith said because the fire was contained inside the roof, it wasn’t visible from the road.

The damage appeared to be confined to the rear upstairs room where the fire originated, with most of the damage apparently caused by smoke.

He hoped to have the hotel open to the public again today.

Fire communications shift manager Jan Wills said firefighters from Greytown, Carterton, Masterton and Featherston were sent to fight the blaze.

“It was well involved on arrival.”

It took about an hour to bring the fire under control, with diversions put in place on SH2.

An aerial appliance was deployed from Avalon and arrived at the scene at 3.45pm to assess the situation from above.

Police and paramedics were also on site, but Mr Keith said all staff and patrons were evacuated safely, including a group of 14 people from a cruise ship who were having lunch.

Senior Sergeant Mike Sutton said he understood that no one had been injured.

A witness from the South Wairarapa Workingmen’s Club across the road said they could see smoke but no flames coming out of the building.

Among the firefighters was international cricketer Seth Rance who is station officer of the Greytown Fire Brigade.

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