Firefighter battling blaze expected to ‘totally destroy’ derelict homestead

Fire crews are battling a large blaze expected to “totally destroy” a derelict two-storey homestead, in the Christchurch suburb of Riccarton.

Fire and Emergency shift manager Lyn Crosson said they received multiple calls about the blaze around 9pm.

Crosson said the building was a “two-storey derelict house” on Kirkwood Avenue, just off Clyde Rd.

“It’s still burning… going to be totally destroyed.”

What was left of the structure was in danger of collapse, she said, but nobody was thought to be at risk.

The building was well alight when crews arrived.

Anne-Marie Robinson

The building was well alight when crews arrived.

The building was well alight when crews arrived, Crosson said they had six crews, an aerial unit and a command unit on the scene.

A University of Canterbury spokesperson said the fire was at an empty property near campus, but not at the university itself.

They urged students to avoid the area around the university’s recreation centre.

Traffic management is in place at Clyde Road and Riccarton Road.

Rhyva van Onselen/Supplied

Traffic management is in place at Clyde Road and Riccarton Road.

Fire and Emergency shift manager Lyn Crosson said they received multiple calls about the blaze around 9pm.

Rhyva van Onselen/Supplied

Fire and Emergency shift manager Lyn Crosson said they received multiple calls about the blaze around 9pm.

“Gathering or driving by to sightsee may impede the firefighters, so please avoid the area.”

Traffic management is in place at Clyde Road and Riccarton Road, turning on to Kirkwood Avenue, while emergency services tend to the fire.

Anne-Marie Robinson, who lives nearby, said it looked like the fire was at “a really big old homestead just off Clyde Rd”.

A University of Canterbury spokesperson said the fire was at an empty property near campus.

Rhyva van Onselen/Supplied

A University of Canterbury spokesperson said the fire was at an empty property near campus.

The fire was at an empty property near campus, but not at the university itself.

Anne-Marie Robinson

The fire was at an empty property near campus, but not at the university itself.

Fire crews were evacuating some nearby houses, she said, but a lot of university students had come up to the cordon to check it out.

“It’s a really really big old house… It’s a massive fire, the whole house is in flames.”

All that was left standing was a few brick chimneys.

“It’s the biggest thing that’s happened on Clyde Rd in a while.”

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