Kapi-Mana News : June 14th 2011
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Save time and electricity 13 x Dryers from $4 for 18 mins 8 x Washers - from $5 ALSO AT THESE LOCATIONS Upper Hutt 528 0515 Taita 970 0994 Stokes Valley 563 8260 Wainuiomata 939 5171 Porirua - Cannons Creek 237 0630 Newtown 389 7926 Lower Hutt 569 5792 Fast Dryers Washers Domestic Laundry Sports Gear Duvets Mink Blankets Bedding 3685419AB Follow us on www.facebook.com/ kapimananews Fire a blow for tyre shop staff By KAROLINE TUCKEY Charred: Some of the damage at Porirua Tony's Tyre Service, one of 12 blazes lit between Saturday afternoon and Sunday morning over Queen's Birthday weekend. Photo: KENT BLECHYNDEN Tony s Tyre Service Porirua is down but not out after becoming the first building targeted by a serial firebug over Queen s Birthday weekend. Smoke was spotted rising from the site at 6.30pm on Saturday, June 4, by a policewoman heading out to another emergency call. Fire units responded quickly and the blaze was brought under control with six fire trucks, a ladder unit and a hazardous materials command unit on the scene. When we initially got here it was higher than the crane, but the flames disappeared from the top after prob- ably 10 to 15 minutes, said Sergeant Malcolm Lamont, of Porirua police. He was speaking from a cordon that closed the southern Porirua motor- way entrance and exit, part of Paru- moana St and the roundabout at the bottom of the ramp for several hours. Once they got the flames under control, it was just smoke billowing out from under the building. The fire engulfed part of the rear of the building, and a shipping con- tainer storing tyres and chemicals, giving off acrid black smoke smelt as far away as Mana Esplanade. There is relatively substantial damage to the rear of the building and equipment inside, Tony s Tyre Service general manager Heath Barclay said. We re not sure how or where it was started yet. It was lim- ited to the back side of the building where our wheel alignment bay is, so pretty much the other part of the building was relatively unscathed. Last week the store s staff were divided between different branches around Wellington to continue opera- tions, with some working at the charred site to clean and secure the leased building. Managers and the landlord were counting the cost. It s pretty devastating, Mr Bar- clay said. It s obviously a terrible in- cident for our business, but we are just working on getting it back up and operational, and getting custom- ers served and getting on with busi- ness. Arson attack on church could have been worse By KAROLINE TUCKEY DAMAGED: Church member Bill Hiku at the scene of the fire in the Porirua Gospel Chapel. Photo: KENT BLECHYNDEN/DOMINION POST Porirua Gospel Chapel members are devastated by the torching of their Sunday school in one of a series of Queen s Birthday arson attacks, but quick thinking has saved them from a bigger loss. The fire was the third lit, at 8:30pm on June 4 at the back of the church, and set alight a large storage cupboard in the Sunday school room containing equipment used in the church s social work. It s a bit of a mess. I estimate the total would be about $70,000 with repairs and everything, Brian McGettigan, PGC elder said. It s not nice, we put the time and effort into it and then some- one comes and does this and I think the whole church was a bit gutted when they walked in and saw what had happened. A morning church service was held the day after the fire so people connected to the church could see the damage together as a community, he said. The kids had a look at what had happened and their parents were there to explain it. Much of what was destroyed was for the church s community outreach, including a bank of 18 computers used for a school hol- iday programme to keep Cannons Creek youth off the street, dress ups for dramas and resources for an English language programme, which were all destroyed. However, if not for a lucky glance from a church member living next door, things could have been much worse. She was in her bathroom and looked out and saw the church on fire, Mr McGettigan said. Because she acted very quickly and dialled 111 and the fire brigade got here so quickly the fire was far less than what it could have been. The polystyrene packing around the computers caught very quickly, there s a lot of heat in it and the plastics they are made of. It would have just about exploded out if the fire brigade hadn t got there, and the whole chapel would have burnt, it was amazing they got there so quickly and put it out. They did a fantastic job in controlling it, he said. The spot the fire was lit seemed to indicate knowledge of the building, Mr McGettigan said, and along with the fact the next fire lit was at a gospel chapel in Wainuiomata shortly afterwards, he wondered if there was a connection between the arsonist and the church. Six fires were lit in Porirua, along with PGC -- at Tony s Tyre Service, St Albans Church in Pauatahanui, a house near Kenepuru Hospital, a Portaloo in Tawa and Horouta Marae. A 43-year-old Porirua man appeared in Lower Hutt District Court last week, facing 11 charges including arson, attempted arson and theft.
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