Holy Smoke!

by Tom on April 14, 2008

The historic St Peters church, on the corner of Willis & Ghuznee St, is currently on fire.


There are seven fire appliances and one ambulance attending the fire, and just now they seem to have stopped the smoke belching out of the doors and windows. More updates & photos as they come to hand…

19:18 The intersection is closed off, though it’s possible for northbound traffic to turn left from Willis into Ghuznee.

There’s a 3 News crew filming, so TV footage might be available soon.

19:31 The smoke is slowly diminishing, there are no visible flames, and the firefighters seem to be dealing with it very calmly, so it may be just some internal fittings that caught fire. With any luck, there might not be any damage to the historic building itself (Thomas Turnbull, 1879).



19:44 There are now 9 appliances, but things seem to be quieting down. Ghuznee St is still closed between Victoria & Willis, and two northbound trolley buses are banked up on Willis.

19:53 Crisis over, or so it seems: the ambulances have left, and the fire hoses are getting packed up.

20:19 All back to normal now, with traffic flowing through the intersection. I guess we’ll find out tomorrow whether anything important was damaged or destroyed.

Anonymous April 15, 2008 at 10:03 am

This is from a Police Email Alert Subscription

New Zealand Police Alert 9:00am 15 Apr 2008 Wellington

Location of incident: St Peters Church Wellington

Incident type: Arson

At approximately 5.30pm on Monday 14 April 2008, a small fire was lit against a boarded up wall at the St James Car-park, Wakefield Street, Wellington. The Fire Service was called and were able to quickly extinguish the flames – minimal damage was caused.
At approximately 5.50pm a second fire was intentionally lit inside an insecure garage, situated on Eva Street, Wellington. The Fire Service again was able to quickly extinguish the flames.
At approximately 6.10pm the historic St Peters Church, on the corner of Ghuznee & Willis Streets, was broken into and another fire was intentionally lit inside the main body of the church. The sprinkler system activated and contained the flames until the Fire Service were able to fully control the fire. An internal wall was damaged by the flames but the church also sustained substantial water damage.
The Fire Service report that the church would have been razed to the ground had the sprinkler system not activated.
Later in the evening a 22 yr old local male was arrested and charged with 3 x Arson and 1 x Burglary. He will appear in the Wellington District Court later today – his bail will be opposed.
Police are very appreciative of information received from the public which enabled this speedy arrest.

Media released on behalf of Det Sgt John van den Heuvel Issued By: Inspector Michael Coleman

ange April 15, 2008 at 3:32 pm

Meant to say excellent title, btw

Seamonkey Madness April 15, 2008 at 10:22 am

And another hoorah for the public and police to bring this bastard in.

(and last but not least, a hoorah for the firies who have to put up with idiots like this and for preserving live and homes alike).

Hadyn April 15, 2008 at 10:20 am

And the media have been in and here are the pics

stephen clover April 22, 2008 at 3:02 pm

The should’ve got Kate Winslett to come and pee on the fire.

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