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WATCH: The aftermath of a workplace blaze that created a large plume of smoke, seen over Palmerston North.
The iron shed in the industrial area of the city on Keith St was destroyed by fire on Tuesday. The shed and several cars were on fire when the NZ Fire crew arrived at the scene.
One person was taken to Palmerston North Hospital with moderate injuries.
The road was blocked off by fire crew from each end, ensuring safety was a top priority for people looking to sightsee or drive by.
Wayne Belk captured images showing the large plume of smoke over other buildings.
thisquality Journalist Sam Hudson arrived a little later than expected and didn’t capture the plume of smoke as it happened.
Press was granted special access to park close and to document the scene, taking note of what happened.
Senior Station Officer Hayden Robinson for NZ Fire Palmerston North said he and his crew were called just before lunch to a fire in a workshop, with a house involved and multiple cars.
“At this stage, one person was taken to hospital with moderate injuries,” said Hayden.
The cause of the blaze is yet to be determined as specialists and investigators were on-site on Tuesday evening and will be at the site on Wednesday to determine the exact cause.
“Due to it being a workshop where they dismantle cars, we had multiple hazards. Things like oxygen, acetylene, fuel and lots of oil as well. The explosions themselves, there were multiple explosions throughout the incident, which is where the oil drums had exploded,” said Hayden.
Gas canisters, fuel tanks, oxygen cylinders and cars were also the cause of explosions.
Luckily enough, the local fire brigade was just a couple of minutes away, just around the corner from where the incident happened.
“Throughout the incident, we had probably at the most; ten appliances on-site, one aerial ladder climbs and also one of our computer trucks as well. We also had multiple police units, and we also had our volunteer operation support assist us as well. Plus, we also had volunteer fire trucks from the outer surrounds for the incident,” said Hayden.
The incident was the third alarm, and this means that due to the demographical makeup of Palmerston North — NZ Fire had to get a lot of crews in to assist in putting the fire out.
A witness who was at the blaze as it played out, was interviewed on what he saw at the time.
“Quite scary, but we had to do all of these road closures to keep the public safe. I was seeing it at my post, and then our pagers (also known as a beeper) all went off to see what we can help with. By 1 pm, we got called all back into the yard to do a road closure, there were quite a few people we had to turn away,” said Liam Crofts.
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