Police might just stand back and look as fire destroyed a ten meter yacht south of Auckland yesterday. Fire crews from Papakura, Manurewa as well as the local Clevedon voluntary brigade were asked to be in the blaze at Wairoa River, near Clevedon – about thirty minutes from downtown Auckland – approximately at around 11.30 am.
Tony Smith, a local resident, was riding towards the region when he saw a huge smoke plume billowing from water. He told that he was amazed at how big the fire was – it was really going. It was well ablaze when he reached the spot and it might have been going for about half an hour before they got it out.
Very quickly, it was established that no one was on board and the police who came on the scene could just stand back. Mr Smith told that the firefighters, who were armed with a huge hose, stood on another vessel and attempted to doused the blaze as best they might.
He told that the boat was destroyed. Mark Balemi, a river warden, told that there were about two hundred to two hundred and fifty vessels of all sizes moored at marina on Wairoa River at any 1 time. Steve Smith, the Northern fire communications shift manager, told that it was not yet quite well known what triggered the blaze, but that a fire safety officer would look into the reason over the next few days.