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NZ Police Alert: Fire At Patea Freezing Works

NZ Police Alert: Fire At Patea Freezing Works

Location of incident: Patea
Incident Type: Fire at Patea Freezing Works

A fire at the old Patea Freezing works overnight resulted in approximately 300 persons being evacuated from the town for their safety.

Fire and Police were notified of the blaze at the works, which have been closed and derelict since 1983, shortly before 1:00 am today. Due to safety hazards existing on the site the Fire Service contained the fire until daylight when they were able to commence extinguishing the fire in a safer environment.

Due to high onshore winds and contaminants on the old works site, the residents of the area of Patea between State Highway 3 and the river was evacuated shortly after daylight to an emergency shelter in Hawera. Approximately 2 dozen residents in the effected area who were without transport were bussed the 28 km to the shelter.

Police staff from Hawera, Opunake and Patea were involved in the evacuation along with Fire Service and St John Ambulance staff.

Sergeant Brent ROYCROFT of the Hawera Police stated that there were no problems with the evacuation and all residents were co-operative. 'I myself had to evacuate my family as we live within the contamination area', said Sergeant ROYCROFT.

Hawera CIB staff will be investigating the cause of the fire along with Fire Safety officers once the fire has been extinguished, which is not expected to be completed until late tomorrow due to the size of the old works site.

There has been an ongoing feasibility study into the demolishing of the freezing works buildings for more than a year. Recently the South Taranaki District Council allocated further funds to progress this feasibility study.

Sergeant F009

Issued By: Sergeant Marc Clausen

This is an initial incident report. Please keep in mind that as more information is gathered by Police at the scene specific details may change.

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