Auckland Blaze Leads to Closure of School Due to Asbestos Hazard

Mountain View School in Māngere Bridge had to close its doors after a substantial fire that took place on Thursday morning. The fire, which involved multiple houses on Coronation Road, prompted the closure of the school due to concerns about potential asbestos exposure resulting from the burning buildings.

asbestos exposure

Fire and Emergency New Zealand received numerous calls about multiple houses engulfed in flames on Coronation Road at around 2:58 am. A firefighter on-site mentioned that the fire affected five structures, including an older building where asbestos exposure might be a risk due to its age.

Public health officials from Te Whatu Ora were evaluating the asbestos risk to the local community following the fire's extinguishment. They highlighted the possibility of asbestos release into the air due to the age of the destroyed buildings.

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Auckland Blaze Leads to Closure of School Due to Asbestos Hazard

Efforts were underway to conduct a thorough assessment of the asbestos risk, involving site sampling and testing in collaboration with Auckland Council. Medical officer Dr. Denise Barnfather advised nearby schools—Mountain View School, OneSchool Global, and Tadpoles ELS—to keep children indoors until the asbestos risk was assessed.

Firefighters worked to dampen down areas near the fire site to minimize the spread of asbestos fibers. Despite the low risk due to calm winds and these preventive measures, caution was advised for properties in Māngere Bridge.

All individuals were reported safe, and evacuees found temporary shelter at a nearby Samoan church, Siasi Tokaikolo ‘ia Kalaisi - ‘Api ko Nasaleti. Efforts were made to contain the fire, with fire service personnel using ladders and water blasts to extinguish it, especially at the back of the Samoan church, close to a daycare center.

The affected houses were part of the church, impacting four families who sought refuge in the church until alternate housing arrangements could be made. Reverend Savaiinaea, awakened by the commotion, ensured the safety of those within the church, offering shelter to those displaced.

Emergency crews from various locations were present to manage the situation, while police provided assistance with traffic control and evacuations as a precautionary measure.

This incident followed another significant fire at the Pinehill Transfer Station in Auckland's North Shore, indicating a series of challenges that required substantial firefighting efforts.

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