• May 22, 2019
No-one was injured at this morning’s blaze at Otahuhu train station, where a St John ambulance caught fire. Photo: Auckland Transport
Mere Brown-Wi Rutene on the site of the blaze. Video: Mere Brown-Wi Rutene
The Otahuhu train station was evacuated earlier this morning after an ambulance caught fire.
A St John patient transfer service vehicle caught fire around 8.45am on its way to Auckland Hospital.
Everyone on board the St John vehicle was safely evacuated, including the patient, their caregiver and a medical assistant. No one was harmed in the incident.
Acting St John district operations support manager Mark Deoki said the patient, who was being transported as part of a routine job, was safely moved to an alternative vehicle.
The driver of the vehicle detected smoke and pulled over at Otahuhu train station.
Two fire engines were on site first, before three police cars arrived at the scene shortly after.
Mark Hannan, media relations manager for Auckland Transport, said that services had been temporarily diverted. Train services were not impacted, and bus services faced minor delays.
Mere Brown-Wi Rutene was on her way to work when she saw the blaze.
She said huge plumes of black smoke were visible as you approached the station, and many Facebook commenters mentioned seeing it from their nearby homes.
“It was really hard to breathe; the smoke was really heavy in the air.”
Ms Rutene continued by saying that AT was encouraging people to stay inside the building and that there was a lot of confusion as to what was going on.
Mr Deoki said: “St John is looking into what caused the vehicle to catch fire and is supporting those involved.”