Tractor and quad bikes destroyed in North Otago fire

A dozen firefighters battled a large shed fire inland from Oamaru yesterday that destroyed at least four farm vehicles.

Crews from the Weston Volunteer Fire Brigade, Kurow Volunteer Fire Brigade and Duntroon Volunteer Fire Brigade tackled the blaze in Smillies Rd, near Island Cliff, about 2am, after a report a six-bay, two-section shed was ablaze.

Weston Volunteer Fire Brigade Chief Fire Officer Bevan Koppert said the structure, used to store vehicles and equipment, was well-involved by the time firefighters arrived at the property, about 34km inland from Oamaru.

Despite the best efforts of fire crews, part of the building could not be saved.

"The three [bays] that were open, there was a tractor there and three quad bikes, which are totally gone and half of the shed was burnt down. But they saved the storage shed end. On the end of that end, there was a container that had chemicals in it and that was saved as well."

He said it was fortunate the substances did not catch fire, as it would have escalated the situation.

Firefighters were at the scene for about three hours.

An appliance and tanker from Weston, an appliance from Duntroon and a tanker from Kurow were employed to fight the blaze.

Mr Koppert said fire investigators were travelling to the scene today. The cause of the fire was not yet known.

 - Police in Queenstown believe a car was deliberately set on fire on the Crown Range Rd early yesterday.

Sergeant Steve Watt, of Queenstown, said emergency services were called to the incident, about 3km on the Wanaka side of the summit, at 1am.

The vehicle, believed to be a Land Rover Freelander, had been left on the side of the road for about a week.

"We're treating it as deliberately lit [and] making inquiries.

"It was completely burnt out - after fire [crews] had put out the flames there were no identifying features that we could [see]."

Meanwhile, a 30-year-old French national was charged with drink-driving at 4am yesterday.

Sgt Watt said the male was seen driving erratically so stopped by police.

A breath test returned a result of 723mcg.


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