Firefighters called to overbridge couch fire

Howard Weir
Howard Weir
It seems the streets around the student quarter are no longer the only domain for the traditional student couch blaze.

Willowbank firefighters were called to the overbridge on the Northern Motorway near Sullivans Dam at 9.30pm yesterday, after initial reports suggested a car was on fire.

But firefighters were surprised when they arrived to find a couch burning, an action they blamed on students. Willowbank station officer Howard Weir thought it was far from funny.

He was furious, and was wondering what it would take to make students understand the dangers of such actions.

The fire posed significant danger to vehicles travelling on State Highway 1 below the bridge, and the flames could have spread to dry scrub nearby.

"It's just another silly exercise in wasting valuable fire resources.

"There was quite a stiff breeze blowing there, and it could have set fire to surrounding scrub.

"Once that goes, it could go anywhere," he said.

"Someone's gone to a lot of effort just to be a prat."

Last week, Willowbank station officer Grant Clarkson said half of New Zealand's future leaders appeared to be idiots and the other half sheep, because students allowed such things to happen.

He said the patience of his fellow firefighters at Willowbank and Dunedin City stations was wearing thin after they were called to 12 fires in 12 hours in the student quarter recently.


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