Museum fire cause under investigation
Director Jeremy Hubbard was both upset and relieved today when he inspected
the scene of an overnight fire at Auckland's Museum of Transport and
The blaze, which began about 10.20pm and was brought under control by
firefighters about an hour later, destroyed a train carriage that was more
than 100 years old.
However, a report that a hangar had also been lost proved to be incorrect,
with Mr Hubbard saying no buildings were damaged.
"It's an absolute tragedy that this irreplaceable museum artifact has been
destroyed," he said.
"But we're very fortunate the fire was contained to a relatively small
Mr Hubbard said the incident reinforced the need for Motat to receive the
level of funding needed to take proper care of its collection.
Most of the museum's funding came from the seven city and district councils
in the greater Auckland area and negotiations over next year's draft budget
had involved "vigorous debate".
Mr Hubbard said one of the issues for Motat was appropriate storage for
items not on display, such as the carriage that was destroyed.
He said the fire, which covered an area of about 10m by 3m, was not in a
public area and the museum would open for business as usual today.
Motat covers 16 hectares and is noted for having one of Australasia's most
impressive displays of aircraft.
Police are investigating the possibility of arson, after nearby residents
were reported to have heard voices of people talking about burning things
A Fire Service spokesman said the cause of the fire had not yet been
established and a fire safety officer was expected back on site today.
Art Hostage comments:
When I read this article a shiver went down my spine, why ?
Well, after the debarcle surrounding the recovery of the stolen Medals and subsequent Police investigation, that looks like charges may follow, it occurred to me that those responsible for the medal recovery may be sending a sinister message to authorities by threatening to burn down a museum rather than stealing from it if authorities continue to investigate the medal recovery.
If this proves to be the case then authorities can only blame themselves for offering Dane-Geld in the first place, see back-story linked below: