Papakura scrap metal fire: New image shows extent of damage

A new photo taken at the site of a massive fire in South Auckland shows a glimpse of the extent of the damage caused by the flames.

The image shows piles of blackened debris surrounding a lone fire truck – one of several called to the scene at Hunua Rd, Papakura, yesterday morning.

The photo, featuring an aerial appliance from Te Atatū, West Auckland, was shared by the NZ Professional Firefighters Union.

UPDATE: Live photo showing Te Atatu aerial appliance right now at Papakura 3rd Alarm. It is no exaggeration to state…

Fire crews have left the scene of a large scrap metal blaze in South Auckland – just under 24 hours after it started.

One crew remained at the Hunua Rd site, in the suburb of Papakura, overnight.

A northern fire communications spokeswoman said firefighters were still damping down hotspots shortly after 3.30am today.

By 7.30am, all firefighters had left the scene. But they were due back this morning to pack up their gear at the site.

Fire investigators have also been to the area – although, a cause has not yet been revealed by authorities.

Emergency services were called to the yard, owned by Global Metal Solutions, after reports of a pile of cars at a scrap metal yard was ablaze.

Six crews worked overnight to damp down any hotspots, he said.

Massive black plumes of smoke could be seen from parts of South Auckland as firefighters worked to control the blaze for several hours.

At one point, the blaze measured about 25m by 15m and locals reported hearing small explosions going off now and again.

An emergency alert was sent via a text and alarm sound to residents’ cell phones as a result; warning people to stay indoors and to turn on the air conditioning to re-circulate the air, if possible.

But Clarice Ford, who has poor lungs, was only alerted to the potential danger when her neighbour spotted her sitting outside on the deck.

“Not everyone got the text. If [the air] had been poisonous, I would’ve had breathing problems.

“I was sitting on my deck when my neighbour walked past and told me. The windows [were] open because it’s hot.”

The 58-year-old had earlier been on a walk with her dog when she saw police officers wearing masks.

She did not know there had been a fire until one of her neighbours asked if she had got “the text”.

A second neighbour, Shirley Chapman, also reported not receiving the text. Both women live in Papakura.

“Nobody had said anything. It could’ve been really dangerous for people who are vulnerable,” Ford said.

“We don’t all sit with the radio on to hear the news. A lot would not have been aware that it was on, but they would’ve had their air conditioning going and their windows open.”

St John paramedics were also sent to the scene, but just as a precaution.

There have been no reports of injuries related to the fire.

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