Fire razes Aitutaki resort units

Tuesday July 31, 2018 Written by Published in Outer Islands
Flames and smoke pour from the fi re-ravaged Aitutaki Lagoon Private Island Resort on Sunday afternoon. PHOTO: Annita Drollet. 18073001 Flames and smoke pour from the fi re-ravaged Aitutaki Lagoon Private Island Resort on Sunday afternoon. PHOTO: Annita Drollet. 18073001

An electrical fault in a kitchen appliance is thought to have caused a fire which completely destroyed three accommodation units and a beach bar at the Aitutaki Lagoon Private Island Resort on Sunday afternoon.

Resort managing director Tata Crocombe said Flying Boat Beach Bar & Grill and three beachfront bungalows were razed to the ground in the fire which started at about 5pm.

He said there was no-one in the kitchen when the fire broke out, adding it quickly spread to the adjacent accommodation units.

Crocombe said no-one was injured in the incident and the visitors who occupied the destroyed bungalows were successfully evacuated, along with their belongings.

He said the fire truck could not access the units that were on fire as the resort is located on an island separated from the main Aitutaki island.

“Fortunately, prompt action from staff on site with the assistance of the fire brigade, police and our colleagues from other resorts including Aitutaki Village, Tamanu Resort and Pacific Resort as well as many members of the wider Aitutaki community, quickly brought the fire under control. We thank everyone concerned for their much-appreciated assistance,” Crocombe said in a statement.

“No guests, staff or those assisting to fight the fire were injured. Some guests have been temporarily relocated to other properties on the island.”

Crocombe said police and the fire brigade team carried out their initial investigation yesterday.

He said they would wait for fire assessors to arrive from New Zealand today before confirming the cause of the fire and the total damage.

“We have already been in touch with our insurers and an assessor will be arriving from New Zealand shortly with a view towards identifying a pathway forward to rebuild the beach bar and bungalows as soon as possible,” Crocombe said.

“We are fully insured and we should get back on our feet very quickly.

There was minimal disruption (to our services) and we are fully functional now. Nobody is losing their job and its back to business as usual.”

Crocombe said the resort’s Bounty Restaurant continued to offer a full range of restaurant and bar services and all water sports equipment was saved so that kayaks, stand-up paddleboards etc, will be available for guest use from today.

“All other facilities are fully operational including Spa Polynesia, gift shop, games room, reception, tour desk, guest laundry, gym etc.”

The 36-bungalow, five-star resort has been listed on Trade Me since March with asking price of $32.29 million.

Crocombe said any pre-booked guests with concerns about the fire should contact resort managers Mark and Sue Propert directly on This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or +(682) 31-200 or +(682) 50-623 or +(682) 50-867.

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