27 Oct 2017

Investigators shore up factory after fire

5:47 pm on 27 October 2017

Demolition of a large building that caught fire in Auckland last night is already under way and should be complete by tomorrow morning.

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Photo: Screenshot / Nikhil Nanda

The fire, which broke out about 8.30pm, was at the concrete pipe sales centre along Great South Road which backs onto train tracks.

At its height, 13 fire crews were battling the blaze. The blaze forced the closure of Penrose Station and train services were cancelled this morning.

The building's owners, Goodman Property Group, said demolition had started already to lessen the impact on rail commuters, particularly given major events such as the Rugby League World Cup this weekend.

Chief executive, John Dakin, said the building was fully insured and should be fully down by tomorrow morning.

Fire crews have now left the site, with Fire and Emergency saying a fire investigator is likely to take some weeks to finalise his findings.

Fire investigator Jason Goffin said they had needed to make sure the building would not collapse before beginning their examination.

He said a significant amount of the building was damaged, and the whole place was likely ruined.

Peter Johnston, who owns an adjacent car-sales business, said the flames had been shooting high into the sky.

"And there was some intense heat coming from next door and she's a little bit cindered down the side of our building today.

"But, yeah, we're very lucky that we didn't lose a whole lot of cars."

Mr Johnston said the building was older and had no sprinklers.