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The reality was much different - a car had ploughed through the front of the more than 140-year-old double-brick building, causing significant damage.
Mr Melton, who was not in Waimate at the time, arrived that afternoon after he received a phone call.
"I got here ... and this car was sticking out with his hazard lights still on."
A week later, the vehicle remained wedged under a pile of rubble that was once a small storage area.
That meant the front of the building was in a precarious state.
"They can't shift it. They reckon it's held up by a couple of bricks. If they take it out, they reckon she'll fall down."
Sergeant Kevin Reynolds, of Waimate, said the the 80-year-old driver of the vehicle had failed to stop at the intersection of High and John Sts.
Mr Melton said the driver's insurance would cover the damage, but
"it's been a week and I haven't heard anything. It's a disgrace".
A structural engineer from Timaru and a Waimate District Council staff member inspected the site yesterday.