Christchurch tavern gutted by overnight fire

  • Breaking
  • 21/09/2009

By Lachlan Forsyth

A popular Christchurch tavern has been destroyed after a massive fire tore through it last night.

Almost 50 fire fighters attempted to save the Hillsborough Tavern – but authorities say from the moment they arrived, they were fighting a losing battle.

When fire fighters arrived just after midnight they were greeted by a wall of flames. The tavern was almost completely engulfed by the fire, which was burning out of control.

Horrific wind conditions made any attempts to contain it almost impossible.

“Usually if we get to it pretty quick we can save a building, but this time it was beyond our resources to save,” says Dave Burford of the Fire Service.

Investigators say there was little to hinder the flames as they ripped through the building.

“There were no sprinklers in the building so therefore it couldn’t get it in the infant stage,” says Mr Burford.

Staff and patrons gathered outside the smoking ruins of the local hotspot today – many too upset to speak.

While investigations are continuing into what may have started the blaze, it is understood the popular tavern has been broken into three times already this year.

The extent of the damage is so great, investigators say they may never discover the cause.

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source: newshub archive