End of exams gets students fired up

Firefighters dampen furniture on Castle St on Saturday night to prevent people setting fire to it...
Firefighters dampen furniture on Castle St on Saturday night to prevent people setting fire to it, after the second spate of rubbish fires in the North Dunedin area. Photo by Craig Baxter.
Firefighters took a proactive approach to their job and dampened the spirits - and property - of North Dunedin potential pyromaniacs on Saturday night.

Willowbank station personnel attended 14 rubbish and couch fires, and Dunedin Central one, in North Dunedin over the evening, which Station Officer Murray Little put down to "end of exam excitement".

It was the "same scenario" as last weekend when the Fire Service attended 31 callouts to the student quarter between 7pm Saturday and 7am Sunday, though more than one fire was dealt with on each callout.

Those fires accounted for about one-quarter of all fires reported in the South Island on Guy Fawkes night.

The crew decided to "be a bit proactive" this weekend and turned the hose on couches, beds and "fuel for later in the night" yet to be set alight.

Having to attend such fires was "very inconvenient" for the station, which also acted as a rescue unit due to its location near the northern motorway.

"If we are tied up with this kind of monkeying around, there is a good chance we could be late to a serious incident," Mr Little said.

- ellie.constantine@odt.co.nz


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