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Police investigate boat fire

Wednesday 30 December 2020 | Written by Melina Etches | Published in Local, National

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Police investigate boat fire
The Puaikura and Takitumu volunteer fire brigades at Cook Islands General Transport on Sunday containing a fire that is thought to have started on an old boat in the yard. Photo: PUAIKURA VOLUNTEER FIRE BRIGADE/ 20122908

A concerted effort by Rarotonga’s volunteer fire brigades saved the Cook Islands General Transport yard from burning to the ground.

The Takitumu and Puaikura volunteer fire brigade services dispatched two fire trucks each to attend a blaze at the Cook Islands General Transport yard in Tutakimoa on Sunday afternoon.

According to Takitumu Fire Rescue station chief Ali Macquarie, the fire is suspected to have started from a boat sitting in the yard and spread to containers nearby.

Macquarie said it took just over an hour to contain the fire.

Police were alerted to and attended the fire at about 5.45pm on Sunday. Spokesperson Trevor Pitt confirmed a boat in the recycle yard of the premises had ignited and also damaged a couple of shipping containers in the vicinity of the blaze.

“Suspected cause is a flare and diesel presence on the old boat,” Pitt said.

Police are continuing to review the scene and the file is yet to be completed.

This is the third fire incident on the island in over a month. Last month two Teimurimotia fire tankers from the Takitumu station, two pump trucks from Puaikura and a pump truck from Crash Fire attended the scene of the Takuvaine blaze.

The young man who stayed in the hut was unharmed, but sadly lost all his belongings inside and a motor bike that was parked near-by.

His father was called, “but it was too late to do anything, when he arrived”, said a bystander.

The fire was extinguished by quick to respond volunteers who also cleared damaged iron roofing from the burnt site.

There was also an unfortunate house fire in Titikaveka in November. The blaze destroyed a person’s engineering machinery and manuals, construction equipment and work gear.

The smaller home was attached to the family’s newer, larger building that remained intact.