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Final update: International Convention Centre fire

Update | 6.45pm Friday 25 October

Published: 22 October 2019

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Fire in Auckland Central City

The fire at the New Zealand International Convention Centre on Hobson Street in central Auckland is now in the overhaul and recovery phase, with fire crews still working on the site

Fire and Emergency New Zealand says firefighters are now pulling bits of iron and roofing materials out and damping down hotspots, and the investigation has commenced.

A large crane will be placed on Nelson street on Saturday morning. The fire responders hope to have this removed by Monday.

Auckland Emergency Management will continue to monitor the situation over the weekend, supporting Fire and other agencies.

Auckland Council, Fire and Watercare worked closely to begin removing water, accumulated during the firefighting response, from the basement of the New Zealand International Convention Centre safely. Read more about this work and where the water is being discharged here

OurAuckland sat down with resource consents specialist Paul Crimmins to talk about air quality and clear the air on some misconceptions about smoke and air testing. Read Paul's interview here - including a video where Paul talks about which parts of the city centre were affected most. 

City open for business, plan your travel

Road closures and bus diversions remain in place throughout central Auckland and motorists are advised to expect delays over the weekend.

Auckland Transport advises people travelling around the city centre to allow extra time for travel and check the Auckland Transport website, Facebook or Twitter for updates.

Advice from Auckland Regional Public Health Service

Smoke from the Sky City Convention Centre fire has got into many nearby apartments, offices, shops and other buildings. Smoke particles and smell can persist inside buildings and some people’s health may be affected by eye and nose irritation or worsening asthma, breathing or heart conditions.

Babies and young children may be most exposed to pollutants on surfaces. This is because they spend most time in contact with floors and put their hands in their mouth frequently.

When there is no further smoke, people should plan to improve air quality inside their building as follows: 

  • Open windows and doors to bring in fresh air.
  • Clean air conditioning unit filters. 
  • Building managers should clean air filters and ventilation systems.
  • Wash down railings, balconies and decks, and wipe down any outside furniture and objects with a damp cloth.
  • Clean filters and covers of outdoor pools.

If your house smells of smoke

  • Ventilate your house by opening windows and doors to let in fresh air.
  • Vacuum clean (including upholstery), preferably using a cleaner with a HEPA filter.
  • Wash hard surfaces, food preparation areas and any cooking utensils left out with detergent and hot water.

If you experience any acute effects from the fire such as difficulties breathing, wheeze, cough or chest pain, you should seek assistance from your GP or call Healthline on 0800 611 116 for free, 24-hour health advice.

In healthy people, most symptoms disappear soon after exposure to smoke ends, and cause no long-term health problems.

Read Auckland Regional Public Health Service's latest advice for city residents and building managers here

Need assistance? 

Individuals and families are able to access the Ministry of Social Development's (MSD) standard suite of hardship assistance to help with food, rent, power, doctors’ visits and other essential and immediate needs.

MSD is working closely with MBIE and the Auckland Chamber to understand the type of support that is needed to support those businesses directly affected by the fire. Businesses can seek advice from the Auckland Chamber, visit the Chamber's website for contact details. 

Business as usual at Auckland Council

All Auckland Council essential services are running as normal.

The council's corporate property team has been monitoring the impact on its buildings in the central city and carried out flushes of air conditioning systems. Most council buildings were operating as normal on Friday with limited use of Te Wharau o Tāmaki / Auckland House at 135 Albert Street, the council building that is closest to the fire site. 

Advice for pet owners

If you live in central Auckland or surrounding areas and have pets please take the same precautionary measures you would take to prevent breathing in smoke.  

  • Bring pets indoors and make sure they stay out of smoke
  • Birds are particularly sensitive to smoke
  • Keep windows closed
  • Shut down external ventilation if smoke is being drawn into your building

Animals that have heart disease, asthma or other lung conditions, and dogs and cats that are brachycephalic (very short noses such as pugs) are at greatest risk of harm from smoke inhalation and should avoid exposures. 

Contact your local veterinarian if you have any concerns.

 

 

Related

AEM reminds residents to stay away from smoke

Auckland Emergency Management appreciates that air quality around the city centre is of significant interest to residents and businesses following the fire at the SkyCity International Convention Centre.

Council working to remove water from NZICC basement

Auckland Council is working closely with Fire and Emergency New Zealand and Watercare to remove water from the basement of the New Zealand International Convention Centre safely.

Smoke, fire and Auckland's air quality

We talk with resource consents specialist Paul Crimmins about air quality and clear the air on some misconceptions about smoke and air testing.