Tangiteroria complex lost to fire

by Andy Bryenton

A major fire razed the extensive Tangiteroria sports complex on Pukehuia road last week, with an emergency call-out of both Dargaville and Whangarei fire crews proving insufficient to extinguish the blaze. The complex was a valuable and well-used community hub for the small rural settlement.

Properly designated as the Upper Wairoa Memorial Complex, the facility opened in 1987 after an extensive six and a half year construction programme undertaken entirely by locals. Fire and Emergency New Zealand provided official details of the incident, which unfolded in the small hours of Thursday morning.

“The alarm was received at 3am. Fire appliances were called to respond, with the Dargaville Volunteer Fire Brigade first on the scene. They found the building to be well involved (firefighting code for fully ablaze), and though another appliance from Whangarei was dispatched, the structure could not be saved.” A total of three fire trucks and one tanker responded, and firefighters remained on scene as the sun rose last Thursday, damping down hot spots. The fire was prevented from spreading despite very dry conditions. Two fire investigation officers were on scene Thursday attempting to ascertain the cause of the blaze, which was initially reported as ‘suspicious’.

With the complex being confirmed as fully insured, the work toward a rebuild will no doubt begin, with the full support of a resilient local community.