Unexplained fire rips through two parked tour buses

Good Company Tours owner and operator Richard Trainor looks at the damage done after two of his...
Good Company Tours owner and operator Richard Trainor looks at the damage done after two of his coaches were engulfed in flames in a Kaikorai Valley car yard on Wednesday night. PHOTO: STEPHEN JAQUIERY
The cause of a fire which engulfed two tour buses in Dunedin is still "unexplained".

A Good Company Tours coach caught fire in a car yard, in Kaikorai Valley, on Wednesday evening and the flames spread to a second bus, also owned by the sightseeing tour company.

Owner and operator Richard Trainor spent yesterday trying to absorb the difficult news.

He received a call on Wednesday night and was told two of his company’s seven buses were on fire.

"It is being investigated at the moment. I won’t really know what happened until they get some results through."

One of the buses, a sightseeing bus with a step-up floor and large viewing windows, was unique and irreplaceable, Mr Trainor said.

"You can’t get them now, it’s not replaceable that one."

The coaches were insured but he believed that would not cover the full cost of replacing them.

It was particularly difficult timing for the tourism business, he said.

"With Covid-19 and no international visitors it is sort of testing me a little bit."

Mr Trainor said Good Company Tours would be able to continue operating using its bigger buses which were not affected.

Senior Sergeant Craig Dinnissen said police were alerted to the fire involving two buses near the Z service station at 7.40pm. Police were treating the fire as "unexplained" but not suspicious at this stage, Snr Sgt Dinnissen said.

One of the buses became engulfed in flames which spread to the second bus, he said.

A Fire and Emergency New Zealand spokeswoman said a fire investigator returned to scene early yesterday morning and left about 11.30am, but the cause had not been confirmed.

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