The towering wooden structure at Tapu Te Ranga Marae consumed by flames had passed a fire audit despite alarming local authorities in the past.
A blaze which claimed the Island Bay, Wellington marae’s main meeting house, a huge structure built of recycled wood through decades of labour, was all but extinguished by Sunday evening.
The whānau and trust which call the marae home have vowed to rebuild, and in the hours that followed the early morning fire more than $20,000 in donations were received.
It will likely take years to rebuild, and what will emerge will likely look different from the building Wellington City Council deemed a partially dangerous “death trap” in recent years.
On Sunday evening, a digger turned over the smoldering remains of the building, from which 36 people – including 27 visiting Scouts – escaped unharmed as a fire tore through at 12.30 am.
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