Medical centre on fire in Ōpōtiki

Whakatohea Social & Health Services building in Opotiki was damaged by fire this morning. File photo.

Fire crews are attending a fire at a medical centre in Ōpōtiki.

Fire Emergency New Zealand were alerted to the fire at the Whakatōhea Health Centre at 7.37am.

"There are four crews attending the fire," says FENZ Shift Manager Daniel Nicholson.

"The fire is covering an area of 20 metres by 80 metres."

The fire was well involved when crews arrived at the scene behind the Police station in King St, Ōpōtiki. 

The Whakatōhea Health centre provides whānau and community oriented primary care and medical services with general practitioners and registered nurses.

The health centre has been administering the Covid-19 vaccine every Tuesday and Friday since July 27, as part of the rollout programme and was the first primary care provider in the Eastern Bay of Plenty that came onboard to administer the vaccine.

Last week the Whakatōhea Health Centre changed its vaccination operations and began offering the vaccine via the drive-through service as a new way of working under alert level 4 restrictions.

Whakatōhea Health Centre staff have been offering Covid-19 vaccinations at a drive-through service. Supplied image.

The Whakatōhea Māori Trust Board Management have reassured the community this morning.

"Whakatōhea Social & Health Services building was damaged by fire this morning and is currently under investigation by the fire department," says a Whakatōhea Māori Trust Board Management spokesperson.

"All essential services will be relocated to another facility and we will update you on those details.

"To our whānau we want to assure you we will still be providing essential services to you through our 0800 315 600 number. Ngā mihi maioha ki a koutou katoa."

It is unknown at this stage how the fire started.

"Our fire investigator has been informed," says Daniel.

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