Update: Fire In Bay View, Napier
The fire which destroyed the entire forecourt of the Main North Road BP petrol station in Bay View last night is not being treated as suspicious.
While the cause of the fire is yet to be officially determined by Fire and Emergency NZ (FENZ) and Police investigators, preliminary enquiries have established a container of petrol was filled, placed inside a vehicle, and subsequently ignited by a flame from a cigarette lighter.
Initial indications are this was accidental however Police will continue to review all facts in conjunction with FENZ.
It may take some time to establish the full chain of events.
We have spoken to the people directly connected to this incident and they continue to assist with our enquiries.
The investigation will continue today with the completion of a scene examination and review of CCTV footage from the service station once it is available.
The people connected to the fire, other customers, and BP employees were extremely lucky.
The entire service station forecourt was alight within minutes and it is nothing short of a miracle that nobody was injured or killed.
There appears to be little or no damage to the main business premises itself.
The positive actions of the BP staff at the time to respond quickly to an exceptionally dangerous situation made a significant difference to the outcome.
We also want to acknowledge the quick and professional response by FENZ to manage the risks associated with this major incident and ensure the fire was contained within the large forecourt area.
Anyone who has not yet come forward to speak with Police is asked to contact 105 and quote file number 210116/6262.
Police are aware a number of videos have also been posted on social media.
If anyone has a recording they believe could assist Police and FENZ with this on-going investigation, we would encourage them to contact Police 105 quote file number 210116/6262.
--- Eastern District Criminal Investigations Manager, Detective Inspector Rob Jones