Camper van engine fire

David Thorpe looks on as Balclutha Fire Brigade members put out a suspected electrical fire in...
David Thorpe looks on as Balclutha Fire Brigade members put out a suspected electrical fire in his camper van. Mr Thorpe and his wife Gene, visiting from England, stopped to buy groceries in Balclutha and as they left the store noticed a fire appliance in the parking lot and their van on fire. Photo by Hamish MacLean.
They were only in the store for a matter of minutes.

But when David and Gene Thorpe left the Balclutha New World with their gluten-free bread and a gluten-free apple pie yesterday evening, they realised their camper van was on fire.

The couple from Derbyshire, England, arrived in Christchurch on December 10.

They visited Mt Cook and Queenstown before spending two nights in the Catlins taking in the coastal views and waterfalls.

The couple were planning on spending the night in Balclutha anyway, Mrs Thorpe said.

Balclutha Fire Brigade's station officer Mike Harris said the fire was probably caused by an electrical fault and had been confined to the engine.

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