Man killed in West Auckland explosion used shed to work on cars

7:31 pm on 4 September 2018

The man killed in a shed explosion in West Auckland last night loved to work on cars in the space, another resident at the property said.

Police later confirmed that a body had been found at the property where the explosion happened.

Police later confirmed that a body had been found at the property where the explosion happened. Photo: RNZ / Katie Scotcher

The blast in Henderson rocked nearby houses and left big pieces of debris hanging in a nearby tree.

Today police, fire and emergency continued to investigate the cause. Two officers guarded entrances and rows of emergency vehicles lined the street.

Orange "do not enter" tape lined the perimeter of the property and investigators in blue boiler suits could be seen from the entrance of the driveway picking up debris.

A resident, who asked not to be named, was unable to re-enter the property and only returned this morning to collect personal belongings.

Some neighbours suspected the shed, where the blast occurred, was used as a methamphetamine lab, but he said it was a tool shed.

"Pretty much your basic decked out petrol head's heaven, any size spanner, drill, screw, anything - you'll find it in there.

Emergency services were called after a loud blast was heard in the West Auckland suburb just before 5pm yesterday. Police later confirmed that a body had been found.

Debris after a loud explosion happened in Henderson on 3 September. Photo: RNZ / Sarah Robson

"Compressors for filling up tyres, or, you know, just for blowing off dust and things like that. It was like a heaven for all men who liked working on cars."

The man killed in the blast is understood to be a father of two.

RNZ understands he did not live at the house but worked on cars in the shed.

The resident described him as a car enthusiast.

"He does work for one of the residents that lives here, he's quite good with his welding skills, he did some patching up work on one of the resident's cars and yeah, since then he's been on and off the scene."

Cita Shanks, who lives at a neighbouring property, said the sound of the explosion was unlike anything she heard before.

"Like a massive, massive firework, you know when you go to the displays? It would probably be like that, but times ten maybe."

The smell of burnt wire and chemicals came from the site following the explosion, Ms Shanks said.

Debris from the blast.

Debris from the blast. Photo: RNZ / Anneke Smith

Faitasia Thieme lives opposite the property and said once they heard a loud bang, neighbours swarmed on to the street.

"There was everybody standing and all the cars stopped watching what was going on."

Police said a scene examination was underway and it was too early to determine the cause of the explosion.

Immediate neighbours who were told to leave their homes last night were able to return to their properties this morning.