Ammonia plant main concern


Preventing today’s fire at a Hasting coolstore reaching a six tonne ammonia plant was firefighters main concern.

The massive fire that destroyed a large 100m by 150m coolstore building in the Hastings suburb of Mahora started just after 9am spread to a second building 50m away just after 11am.

By 9.30am there were at least eight appliance and their crews fighting the coolstore fire, and trying to keep it from setting alight a nearby ammonia plant, reported NZPA.

“Our main concern was that there is a six tonne ammonia plant sandwiched between the building on fire and an adjacent building which was exposed, but wasn’t on fire,” said Incident controller Chris Nichol.

“We concentrated on trying to isolate that ammonia plant from the fire.

“We were up against it a little bit because the ammonia plant was downwind from the actual building on fire.”

Tonight, Senior Fire Officer Wayne Clarke told NZPA the coolstore had been destroyed, but the firefighters had managed to save the nearby buildings and the ammonia plant.

He said it was a good save preventing the ammonia plant catching fire because there would have been a big problem if the gas had been released.

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