The fire engines and personnel worked frantically to take control, but their efforts were considerably hindered by the uncertainty of the restaurant's gas bottles and subsequent explosions.
The fire fighters did an outstanding job, concentrating on watering down the surrounding buildings, and they continued to work through the night in two hourly shifts.
There were many onlookers and as many people wanting to help in some way. Several staff and the owner of the Luna Cafe, and a group of residents supplied refreshments and support in the fire station kitchen, which were greatly appreciated.
Sadly, the iconic building couldn't be saved. From a local newspaper report, it appears the fire may have been caused by one of the restaurant dryers.
The Church Restaurant, Luna Cafe and Maddens Icecream/Pizza Parlour will be open in the evenings throughout summer, with restaurants also open in nearby Cooks Beach, Flaxmill Bay and Whitianga.
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