Fire destroys local business


BUSINESS is continuing in other ways for staff at the Invercargill branch of Southland Farm Machinery after the North Rd showroom and workshop was destroyed by fire early on Sunday.
The business is the local John Deere agency and group manager Carey Briar said new tractors being prepared for sale and in the showroom were lost, as well as several ride-on lawnmowers, farm machinery, clients’ tractors in the workshop for repair, a utility truck, and parts stock.
The building and contents were insured, he said.
The alarm was raised about 11.50pm on Saturday. Almost 30 firefighters from Invercargill, Kingswell and Wallacetown attended, bringing the fire under control by about 2am.
Several Southland Farm Machinery staff went to the building and managed to move new tractors parked outside on the North Rd frontage out of harm’s way, Mr Briar said.
Mr Briar, who only joined the company two weeks ago, said about 20 staff worked at the branch.
‘‘They are a close-knit team and a lot of them are long-termers who had a history with the building.
‘‘They have taken it fairly hard, but they are also pragmatic and know that things have to carry on.’’
It was ‘‘business as usual’’, he said, with mechanics working from mobile vehicles, and parts and stock being sourced from the Gore and Cromwell branches.
He thanked people for their outpouring of support, including offers of workshop space from competitors.spy offersZwift Is Betting It Can Do for Running What It Did for Cycling