Dunedin’s popular Irish bar, The Bog, caught fire on Sunday 2 August 2015, capturing the attention of many residents in the area.
Imogen Braddock, a member of the public who watched the fire, described it as “quite frightening”. By the time the fire was out, “a rather large crowd had built up to watch the firefighters,” she said.
Although the full extent of the damage is not yet known, the fire left damage to both levels of the bar. According to Braddock, the first-floor office has been “completely gutted” as well as the ground floor, which has been left with significant water damage to the kitchen and bar area. It is believed that the first-floor office was above the kitchen and bar.
Michael Harrison, a Dunedin fire investigator, said that so far no explanation had been found. “The fire investigators have completed the scene examination, but at this stage the fire is still deemed to be undetermined; however, the investigations are still ongoing.”
Harrison said it is not unlikely for a fire to be deemed undetermined at this stage of an investigation. “It will remain this way until any outcome is revealed,” he said.
He was unable to comment on how long the investigation would take as it would be determined by the amount of damage the building has undergone. Harrison said it could be a few days or up to a week before the outcome is revealed.
The bar is located on the corner of London and George streets and is a favourite student haunt. The blaze erupted shortly before 7pm, with patrons being evacuated immediately. An alarm activation was set off and firefighters were at the scene within two minutes. Six firefighters battled the blaze. Four fire trucks and a ladder were required, enabling them to attack the blaze from above. The fire was under control within 20 minutes.
The day after the fire, The Bog thanked “everyone for all the support and concern” on their Facebook page. On 5 August, they posted to say that they would re-open from Friday 7 August at 5pm.