Evacuation as firefighters called out to rest-home

The Cobden and Brunner fire brigades attend an early morning callout to Granger House, which...
The Cobden and Brunner fire brigades attend an early morning callout to Granger House, which resulted in 12 people being evacuated. Photo: Laura Mills
An early morning fire call to Granger House yesterday resulted in 12 people being evacuated, and the Cobden fire siren waking many Greymouth and Cobden people.

Greymouth fire chief Lee Swinburn said a room at the rest-home filled with smoke. The cause was eventually traced to an electrical malfunction in which a switching mechanism on a hot-water cylinder melted.

The Cobden and Brunner fire brigades were also dispatched and firefighters spent 45 minutes identifying the cause, then ventilating the wing before the residents returned to their rooms.

That call inadvertently caused some consternation for Cobden and Greymouth residents as the Cobden fire siren blared continuously across the town.

Cobden fire chief Kirk Gillan said in "an absolute fluke" the routine reset in the brigade's 24-hour-a-day paging system at midnight coincided with the exact time of the call-out to Granger House.

It meant the fire siren automatically kicked in with the paging system momentarily down.

The pager system ordinarily notifies an emergency at night without the need for the siren to be activated.

Meanwhile, a burning car at the junction of State Highway 6 and Taylorville Rd at Stillwater was quickly dealt with by the Brunner Volunteer Fire Brigade shortly after midnight on Sunday.

Brunner fire chief Rob Lunn said the stolen vehicle had crashed before being set alight.

Mr Lunn said locals noticed a vehicle visit the burning car twice and reported it to police. The vehicle was stopped near Dobson shortly after.

The occupants were spoken to by police and the vehicle was later towed away. Sergeant Andrew Lyes, of Greymouth, said the occupants of the vehicle in question were not necessarily linked to the burning car but inquiries were continuing.

In Westport, a chimney fault allowed flames to spread into the roof space of a Russell St house on Saturday night.

Westport Volunteer Fire Brigade chief Alan Kennedy said they were called at 8.15pm in what turned out to be a "good save" after the occupant noticed something was amiss.

Firefighters initially had to rip off wall linings and were able to isolate the fire straight away which had begun to spread into the ceiling.

Early on Saturday afternoon two vehicles collided on the northern approach to the Buller Bridge in Westport. Mr Kennedy said none of the occupants were seriously injured or trapped.

 - Brendon McMahon 


Its about time this home was run correctly / apart from electric faults that cauld have burned many persons

You're not wrong.

thank you allan beck stand up and be counted






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