Fire in Tongan church complex damages multiple houses in Māngere Bridge

10:27 am on 30 November 2023
Generic fire truck.

Multiple houses on Coronation Road were on fire. Photo: RNZ / Rebekah Parsons-King

A South Auckland church community is rallying around people whose homes were damaged by fire early this morning.

Firefighters were called to the multi-house blaze in Coronation Road in Māngere Bridge at 3am.

No one was injured in the fire at the Akoteu Faka-Kalisitiane Ko Namoa church complex.

The church owns houses behind the church building and rents them out for members.

A FENZ spokesperson said they were not aware of any damage to the church building itself.

They said at its peak, 14 crews attended and the fire had since been put out.

A fire investigator is on the scene while hotspots are damped down.

Residents were evacuated to the church hall, where they received food and shelter.

Akoteu Faka-Kalisitiane Ko Namoa trustee Frank Koloi said four families had been staying in houses on church land.

"Since the text went out this morning, members of the church from all over Auckland have been concerned. Some have come to drop food off, and just to see how people were.

"They're thankful and blessed that everybody's alive... There's no injuries, nothing."

Koloi said the church was setting up temporary shelter in their hall for those affected and ensuring that people had necessary medication, clothing and food.

Fire trucks attend a multi house fire in Coronation Road, Māngere Bridge, 30 November 2023

At its peak, 14 crews attended the blaze. Photo: RNZ

School closes due to asbestos concerns

Meanwhile, a school nearby has been closed as a precaution due to concerns about asbestos.

Mountain View School posted on its website: "Due to a large fire close to MVS we are closed for the day.

"There may be asbestos in the burned buildings so we have been advised by the public health officer to close until further notice. We are sorry for the inconvenience."

Earlier, police said residents had been evacuated from nearby addresses on Mountain Road and Koru Street as a precaution.

The exact number evacuated was not known.

Savaiinaea told RNZ he was woken in the early hours by neighbours knocking on his door telling him to get out.

"So I woke my daughter and she went outside and said, 'It's fire'. I got all my kids and we came outside."

A stretch of Coronation Road to the motorway off-ramp had been closed.

The roads have since re-opened.