Rugby team tackles fire at Christchurch bar

The fire was confined to the outdoor area, meaning it’s business as usual for the rest of the bar...
The fire was confined to the outdoor area, meaning it’s business as usual for the rest of the bar. Photo: Supplied
A fire being treated as suspicious was swiftly put out thanks to the help of a Christchurch rugby team training close by.

New Brighton’s The Bower bar suffered damage to its outdoor area after it caught fire on Tuesday night.

Luckily an Ōtautahi rugby team was training at Bower Park when they spotted the fire about 6.40pm and sprung into action.

“Everyone reacted pretty quickly. We just saw the fire, sprinted over and jumped the fence and managed to find a hose,” said one of the team’s coaches, who declined to be named.

Fire and Emergency NZ and the bar owner’s partner Pierre de Lautour was called.

The coach said the team was hosing down the fire for about five minutes before firefighters arrived. The team then resumed training.

De Lautour said the fire was lit by a man using the outdoor barbecue to start the fire, lighting the charcoal and then using an umbrella to ignite the flame.

De Lautour said the same man had been captured on footage over the past two weeks between 2-3am by the outdoor area.

The fire was confined to the outdoor area. Photo: Supplied
The fire was confined to the outdoor area. Photo: Supplied
A police spokesperson said police were called to the scene at about 6.50pm and “inquiries are ongoing into the circumstances surrounding the fire.”

De Lautour said the bar is closed on Mondays and Tuesdays so it was lucky the rugby team was there to call him.

“I thought they were having me on,” de Lautour said.

“I said what the hell are you talking about?”

Because the fire only damaged the outdoor area on the deck, de Lautour said it’s “business as usual”. The gig booked for Sunday will go ahead.

While de Lautour said the clean up would be a pain, he and his partner Katrina Hargen were grateful for the fire service and rugby team’s quick-thinking.

“Fair enough to say some good bar tabs coming guys.”

 

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