Lower Hutt quarry fire under control

Lower Hutt quarry fire under control

Firefighters have successfully doused a blaze at a quarry in Lower Hutt this morning, with no serious injuries.

Assistant area commander Esitone Pauga says the blaze engulfed a pair of portacoms at the Dry Creek Cleanfill quarry -- one was being used as a break room, the other an office.

"When we arrived, we had two sheds fully involved in fire. They had evacuated it, and we were told there was nobody else in the building."

The Fire Service was alerted to the blaze at 8:25am. There were initially reports of an explosion, but firefighters have yet to find any evidence of that.

"Perhaps some windows breaking, nothing out of the norm… no major explosions," says Mr Pauga.

Firefighters did find a 9kg LPG cylinder attached to a barbecue, but it hadn't exploded.

"When we found it, it had already vented," says Mr Pauga. "We just cooled it down and left it in place. There was no explosion.

"Usually they're designed with a disc that will burst when it gets overheated, so there's no explosions. We made it safe."

Fletcher Building, whose division Winstone Aggregates runs the quarry, said no one was hurt. Mr Pauga says one employee suffered minor smoke inhalation, and was treated on site by ambulance staff.

Smoke from the blaze caused traffic issues on nearby State Highway 58 and State Highway 2, hindering their access to the site.

Vodafone staff are on site inspecting a cellphone tower at the quarry.

"Fire was heading that direction, so our priority was to cut it off," says Mr Pauga.

What started the fire isn't yet known. The LPG cylinder isn't believed to be the cause, and fire investigators are on site.

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