The Old Horeke Store Fire
Interesting buildings these ones. The one of the left is still being used as a house but the one on the right was the old Horeke Post Office and General Store. Apparently in 1931 embers from smoke coming out of the house's chimney scattered onto the floor and the flames spread across to the store.
The news story below illustrates what happened:
BIG BLAZE - Northern Advocate 1931
HOREKE STORE AND P.O. TWO DWELLINGS SAVED. START IN TIN CHIMNEY. A disastrous fire devastated the business block of Horeke on Saturday last, about 12.30 p.m. Two dwellings, the store and post office stand - together on a platform supported by piles over the river. It is believed that the outbreak was caused by the wind blowing down the tin chimney of the smaller house and scattering embers on the floor. It was lunch time, and although the outbreak was quickly detected, efforts to prevent the spread of flames to the store were unsuccessful. Fortunately the tide was in, and a bucket brigade worked like trojans to save, 'the buildings. The outbreak in the smaller house was got in" hand, but not before over £IOO damage had been done. The store was completely gutted. Mr (H. Rose, who owned the; whole block of buildings, was carrying stock valued at £2500, which he had insured for ■£17.30.
The post office also is a complete, ruin, but most of the records were saved. ‘
Three boats were moored to the piles and forgotten in the excitement. Two of these, a pleasure launch and a goods carrier, wore'burnt and sunk. The homestead was separated from the store by two’ water tanks. ’ logs were chopped in them by the Madrid and the deluging outflow to save the residence. Mr Rose was" returning from a visit to Auckland, and had just arrived to spend a 'few minutes with Mr and Mrs Jim Sloane, Mata, when he heard of the calamity which had befallen him. Rebuilding has commenced already. Mr G,' Kimber, of Whangarei, who was at Horeke, helped in ’the firefighting operations. He was burned about the forehead and arms.