Builder’s livelihood uncertain after blaze

A view past houses in Dart St, Oamaru, of a fire in Regina Lane about 5am yesterday. Photo:...
A view past houses in Dart St, Oamaru, of a fire in Regina Lane about 5am yesterday. Photo: Dorothy O'Donnell
The owner of an Oamaru building business destroyed by fire over the weekend is "devastated"  and unsure what the future holds.

Emergency services were called to the blaze at the workshop of Shaun Cunningham Builders in Regina Lane about 10.45pm on Saturday.

Fire and Emergency New Zealand Southern Communications shift manager Andrew Norris said when crews arrived  the building  was "well-involved".

Parts of the building were still burning about 7am, and there was "extensive damage".

Crews from the Oamaru, Glenavy and Weston Volunteer Fire Brigades attended, and two fire engines were still on the scene to "dampen down" the building yesterday  morning.

The cause of the fire was unknown, but an investigation was under way. It was not being treated as suspicious at this stage, Mr Norris said.

The owner of the business,  Shaun Cunningham, was at the property with fire investigators yesterday morning and said he was shocked at the amount of damage to the building.

"I don’t know what to say ... a bit of sports memorabilia has been lost and a lot of family stuff as well. I’m pretty devastated, but it’s just material stuff that can be replaced."

He praised firefighters for their efforts.

After assessing the damage, he said he would leave the matter to insurers.

"That’s about all I can do. I’ll just make sure I’m covered and see what happens."

Neighbour Peter Luo witnessed the blaze in the early hours of yesterday morning and immediately contacted emergency services.

"About 4.30am, something like that, we heard a loud sound from there. We opened the curtain to have a look and saw the fire ... it was a very, very big fire."

"We were worried ... we were thinking about getting away. It was very, very scary."

No-one was in the building at the time.

daniel.birchfield@odt.co.nz

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