A fire which raged at a Hastings service station terrified
bystanders with dramatic explosions and black fumes.
Hastings Fire Brigade senior station officer Jamie Nichol
said the Fire Service was called to a burning truck on the
forecourt of the Caltex service station on Omahu Rd, about
The truck was parked at the station's diesel truck-stop,
which is separate from the main retail pumps.
The truck driver told Hawke's Bay Today he had filled one of
the vehicle's fuel tanks and was about to fill the other when
the fire erupted.
He was unsure how the blaze had started and ran away from the
"I just bolted."
Mudgway PartsWorld owner Wayne Mudgway, whose business is
near the service station, said he heard an explosion and saw
black smoke rising into the air. He quickly called emergency
"While I was talking with them [emergency services]
explosions were coming one after the other.
"She was asking me every detail under the sun and I said,
'just get here, for God's sake!'
"It's terrifying. If it had blown, it would have ended up in
Mr Nichol said the Hastings Fire Brigade was checking
equipment when it received calls about the blaze.
The crew looked west and saw a plume of black smoke in the
As they arrived at the service station, the truck was fully
ablaze and the fire had spread to a nearby car wash.
Three crews attended the fire; two from Hastings and one from
A total of 12 firefighters had the fire under control within
Mr Nichol said the truck, which was towing a transport
trailer, was severely damaged. The explosions were caused by
the truck's tyres bursting.
The Fire Service had still to determine the cause of the fire
yesterday, although "a few possible causes" had been
identified, and investigation was ongoing.
A Caltex spokesperson said staff followed procedure during
An attendant pushed an emergency stop button which isolated
the fuel pumps and stopped any flow of fuel.
The car wash and the pump kiosk were damaged, but efforts
wouldn't be made to repair them until they had been looked
over by the fire investigator.
The service station's retail fuel pumps were operating again
Mr Nichol confirmed Caltex staff had isolated the fuel pumps
prior to the Fire Service's arrival.
The truck driver and other bystanders were "very lucky" they
weren't injured during the fire.
Marley te Ahuru, of Hastings, said she was driving on Omahu
Rd on her way to a doctor's appointment when she saw "really
thick smoke" billowing across the road.