DESTROYED: The house was destroyed by fire, but luckily no one was injured. The house was fully involved when the fire brigade arrived. OS0075-02

INVESTIGATORS have determined that a fire that ruined a Ford Street home on Friday evening was not suspicious.

Senior firefighter Barry Hennessy said the Opotiki Volunteer Fire Brigade was called to the address shortly after 9pm on Friday.

“There were multiple calls about it and when we arrived the building was fully involved,” he said.

Firefighters wearing breathing apparatus entered the building as it was believed somebody might still be in the burning building.

“While we were in there, the roof caved in and we pulled out as it was getting too dangerous,” Mr Hennessy said.

“We had done a fairly good search at that point, no one was located and much to the relief of everyone on the scene the occupant turned up some time later.”

Two fire engines, a support van and 13 firefighters attended the fire, with a core group staying on to safeguard the scene overnight.

“We also monitored hotspots, using a thermal camera, removing tiles to get to the smouldering spots,” Mr Hennessy said.

“It was a long night, going to 7.30 in the morning.”

There were reports of bystanders yelling abuse at the volunteer firefighters as they were battling the blaze.

Detective Senior Sergeant Greg Standen said fire investigators had determined the fire wasn’t suspicious and that police would not have any further involvement with the incident.

sven.carlsson@thebeacon.co.nz

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