Massive Effort to Battle Cooks Beach Fire
Written by John Freer on December 17, 2023
By John Freer
Off-duty fighters and firemen on holiday turned out on Saturday to fight a major house fire at Cooks Beach.
The blaze involved four houses – one being destroyed two others being slightly damaged.
More than 40 firemen were involved from Cooks Beach, Hahei, Whitianga, Tairua, Pauanui and Whangamata.
Cooks Beach Chief Fire Officer, Brayden Jack, had charge of the fire with support from commanders in Hamilton.
As of today, the cause of the fire is unknown, Fire and Emergency New Zealand staff are investigating. Claims that a hybrid car being charged started the fire were dispelled by fire staff.
For Brayden total praise for the many volunteers who, while not being able to save one house, did save three others. They fought the fire for eight hours after a 12.30pm notification.
Brayden said the perimeter of the fire was controlled within the first hour.
More than 200,000 litres of water were poured on the fire, this coming from local property water tanks.
For Brayden the support of fire staff on holiday in the region turning out, and the brigades working together, was described as being pretty amazing.
“Some of these people just turned out in their holiday clothes to help which was really appreciated,” said Brayden.
For the fire chief, he was in Whitianga attending the Bellyfull Christmas event at Grace O’Malley’s when his pager went off.
Within 11 minutes he had made it across the Whitianga Harbour thanks to the crew of the Cave Cruiser.
He then flagged down a car to get to the fire station, then another person drove him to the fire.
“I would like to thank those people who assisted, I don’t have their names but thy got me there in no time.”
Fire staff were back on the scene dampening hot spots.
Photo: Thames to Cathedral Cove Cruises