ZB

'Couple of years of hard work' up in smoke as blaze rips through store

Author
Caitlan Johnston, NZ Herald,
Publish Date
Wed, 23 Feb 2022, 3:36pm

'Couple of years of hard work' up in smoke as blaze rips through store

Author
Caitlan Johnston, NZ Herald,
Publish Date
Wed, 23 Feb 2022, 3:36pm

A blaze has destroyed a Paeroa second-hand shop. 

The fire broke out at Forget Me Not Opportunity Shop on Belmont St at around 12.30pm, confirmed owner Sue Turner who was left feeling very overwhelmed. 

"I just watched a couple of years of hard work go up in smoke but I won't be deterred – we'll come back again," said Sue. 

Fire and Emergency Waikato District Manager Daryl Trim said the fire was able to be contained quickly and there were no injuries. 

Sue and her husband were out on the footpath when they saw smoke billowing from the back, no one else was in the shop. 

"My husband ran through with a fire extinguisher, and the neighbour, by the time they got out the back all they saw was flames and it had already taken a hold of the back of the shop." 

Hauraki mayor Toby Adams said it was devastating for the businesses affected. 

He said at least two shops were gutted. 

"It's pretty damaging, but nobody is hurt and that's the main thing," said Adams. 

"Going forward, I mean it's not the first fire we've had in the main street before and it may not be the last, but we are a pretty strong and resilient community and I'm sure we will all chip in and make sure the other businesses aren't affected." 

While the fire is under investigation, Sue assumed it was caused by electrical issues. 

Hauraki Bike Hire owner Michael Tansey said the fire had damaged at least four shops, including the post office and Midway Takeaways Burger Bar. 

"It is pumping. It took off within a couple of minutes," said a witness on social media. 

An ATM was also destroyed. 

The owner of The Bakehouse Cafe & Roasts, a couple of doors down from the second-hand shop, said they were shaken after the blaze and have had to close the bakery. 

They said it looked like the fire was out now and at least five fire engines were at the scene. 

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