Two people treated for injuries after house near Wellington destroyed by ‘tornado of flames’

As the family struggled to escape their burning home next door, Vincent Ahiao was woken by the sound of shouting.

It was a man, Ahiao said, screaming for his son to “jump out the window”.

Later when Ahiao saw the house engulfed in fire, it was like “a tornado of flames”.

The neighbours of a Porirua house gutted by fire have spoken about being woken by the suburban inferno on Maher Pl.

Two people have been treated for injuries after the house fire.

ROSS GIBLIN/STUFF Two people have been treated for injuries after the house fire.

Ahiao said he was woken at about 4am on Thursday by the sounds of the family of four next door struggling to get out of their home.

It appeared the son in the family was struggling to escape and the father was shouting “get out, get out”.

The son jumped out a window to escape, he said. All four family members made it out of the house.

Vincent Ahiao was woken by the sound of shouting from a house fire next door.

ROSS GIBLIN/STUFF Vincent Ahiao was woken by the sound of shouting from a house fire next door.

Ahiao said they called emergency services, but he was forced to watch as intense waves of heat and thick smoke swept up from the neighbouring house.

As items exploded inside the house, they popped “like throwing Lynx cans in the fire”, he said.

Ahiao said at the beginning he heard smoke alarms from inside the house too.

The home engulfed in flames in Porirua early on Thursday morning.

VINCENT AHIAO/SUPPLIED The home engulfed in flames in Porirua early on Thursday morning.

On another side of the house, neighbour Paea Saluni was also woken by screams, and still groggy from sleep, struggled to work out what was happening.

He thought it might be a late night party at first.

“I heard screaming, and they were calling out but I wasn’t sure what was happening.”

Two people escaped a house fire in Porirua on early Thursday morning. The house was severely damaged.

ROSS GIBLIN/STUFF Two people escaped a house fire in Porirua on early Thursday morning. The house was severely damaged.

He got up and tried to find where the noise was coming from, and then he saw the fire.

“They were all out from the house, so that’s good, I was worried there could be someone inside.”

They called fire fighters too and soon at least three fire trucks were crammed into the cul-de-sac battling the fire.

A house on Maher Pl, Rānui has been severely damaged and two people hospitalised after a house fire on Thursday morning.

GOOGLE MAPS/SUPPLIED A house on Maher Pl, Rānui has been severely damaged and two people hospitalised after a house fire on Thursday morning.

In daylight on Thursday morning the house was completely gutted, the fire destroying most of the roof as well. A set of scorched gas tanks sat beside the house.

Emergency services were called to the house on Maher Place in Rānui, Porirua, about 4am on Thursday.

Wellington Free Ambulance were called to the scene at about 5.45am and treated two patients at the scene.

A neighbour described the destructive blaze as "so sad, so silent, and so quick".

J SCOTT/SUPPLIED A neighbour described the destructive blaze as “so sad, so silent, and so quick”.

An ambulance spokesperson said they were treated for minor injuries and referred to their general practitioner.

FENZ said the fire was contained just before 7am and firefighters were dampening down the site.

The fire is not being treated as suspicious.

Stuff – Joel Maxwell and Jessica Long

Posted in NEWS |

Fire closes State Highway 1 Pukerua Bay to Paekakariki

A fire on the Pukerua Bay side of the Paekakariki Hill has closed State Highway 1 in both directions. A witness said five fire and emergency engines were in attendance.

A fire on the Pukerua Bay side of the Paekakariki Hill has closed State Highway 1 in both directions. A witness said five fire and emergency engines were in attendance. HANNAH CALVER

The scrub fire on the hill above State Highway 1 north of Wellington has been put out.

The fire on Monday night had closed the road between Pukerua Bay and Paekākāriki.

The closure remained in place, but it was understood the road would reopen around 10:30pm.

Fire and emergency shift manager Murray Dunbar said crews were still “dampening down” the fire, but it was extinguished.

Dampening down was a process to ensure the fire could not reignite.

A spokesperson said Fire and Emergency were called at 8:02pm.

Twelve fire trucks attended the scene, and were joined by police at 8:06pm.

Traffic was diverted and the road was closed by NZTA.

Road users were told to take alternative routes such as Paekākāriki Hill Road, although this was not suitable for heavy vehicles.

Metlink Wellington said all trains on the Kāpiti line were suspended between Porirua and Waikanae.

The 7:44pm train service from Wellington to Waikanae was terminated at Plimmerton and passengers were advised to find alternative transport.

It was not yet clear when the train line would reopen, and it was understood two freight trains were currently waiting for clearance.

A scrub fire has closed State Highway 1 north of Pukerua Bay, and trains have been cancelled.

A scrub fire has closed State Highway 1 north of Pukerua Bay, and trains have been cancelled. NZTA

 

Posted in NEWS |

Grinch arsonist suspected in Christmas tree fire at Porirua North City mall

 

 

Police suspect the fire was deliberately set and are investigating, including reviewing CCTV footage.

Police suspect the fire was deliberately set and are investigating, including reviewing CCTV footage. – MONIQUE FORD/STUFF

Police are investigating a suspected arson after a fire at Porirua’s North City shopping centre forced the evacuation of the entire mall on Friday afternoon.

It was suspected the fire – in which no one was injured – was deliberately lit among Christmas decorations in the toy section of Kmart, a police spokeswoman said.

“Some Christmas decorations have been damaged by fire, including a festively decorated tree. Police are at the scene and investigations are being carried out.

“It’s thought that some CCTV footage may lead to locating the Grinch who stole Christmas so early,” the spokeswoman said.

Shoppers were evacuated around 4:30pm after a small fire broke out in Kmart at North City mall in Porirua.

Shoppers were evacuated around 4:30pm after a small fire broke out in Kmart at North City mall in Porirua. – MONIQUE FORD/STUFF

“There’s so many combustibles in there. It could have been disastrous. The sprinkler contained it long enough for us to get in there,” Porirua Fire Brigade senior station officer Dene Wade said.

He commended the staff and management for their quick evacuation and organisation.  “They knew what to do.”

Fire and Emergency shift manager Belinda Beets said the fire was called in on 111 at 4.10pm.

An alarm had gone off and the sprinkler system had activated in Kmart, which had contained the fire.

Beets said there were two fire engines in attendance and no reported injuries.

Porirua's North City mall was evacuated after a fire in Kmart on Friday afternoon. Police suspect the fire was deliberately lit.

Porirua’s North City mall was evacuated after a fire in Kmart on Friday afternoon. Police suspect the fire was deliberately lit. – MONIQUE FORD/STUFF

Porirua resident Barbara Doyer was evacuated at about 4.30pm.

“We came out of Millers and there was a suspicious smell.”

“We heard it was on the roof, or maybe coming from Kmart. I heard it’s contained,” shopper Dylan Jones said.

The suspected arson lit up this festively adorned tree and scorched some nearby pink flamingos.

The suspected arson lit up this festively adorned tree and scorched some nearby pink flamingos. – NZ POLICE

Gerard Earl, director for mall manager Colliers International, said systems had activated as expected and the mall had been evacuated promptly and swiftly.

Earl expected it would be open again by 9am on Saturday after it had been properly assessed.

He said there was a managed process underway to retrieve cars from the mall’s car park.

Evacuated shoppers watch on as emergency services arrive.

Evacuated shoppers watch on as emergency services arrive. – MONIQUE FORD/STUFF

Posted in NEWS |

Holiday weekend hell: SH1 closed north of Wellington

Bumper to bumper on Paekakariki Hill Rd. Photo / Rosalie Willis

Bumper to bumper on Paekakariki Hill Rd. Photo / Rosalie Willis NZ Herald

The NZTA said due to the dangerous materials spilled, extraction of the crashed truck and clearing of the lanes was a complex operation.

Motorists were being asked to delay all unnecessary travel.

Aftermath of a truck crash at Pukerua Bay on State Highway One north of Wellington. Photo / Kyle Mitchell

Aftermath of a truck crash at Pukerua Bay on State Highway One north of Wellington. Photo / Kyle Mitchell

Earlier, SH2 was completely blocked earlier today at Remutaka Hill after two trucks became stuck on a corner.

The road has since fully reopened in both directions but NZTA is asking motorists to expect delays as congestion eases.

A vehicle has also broken down on the Featherston side of the Remutaka Hill, blocking the road there.

NZTA is expected to provide an update on SH1 on the Kapiti Coast before 2pm.

Trucks queued near Pukerua Bay after crash on SH1 this morning. Photo / Rosalie Willis / Kapiti News

Trucks queued near Pukerua Bay after crash on SH1 this morning. Photo / Rosalie Willis / Kapiti News

Workers are hosed down after dealing with the aftermath of a truck crash at Pukerua Bay. Photo / Kyle Mitchell

Workers are hosed down after dealing with the aftermath of a truck crash at Pukerua Bay. Photo / Kyle Mitchell

SH1 is closed until further notice following an early morning truck crash near Pukerua Bay on the Kapiti Coast.

The truck and trailer unit carrying hazardous substances rolled on State Highway 1 north of Porirua, leaking chemicals on to the road and closing the road for most of the day.

NZTA Systems Manager Mark Owen said motorists need to appreciate that Paekakariki Hill Road is a tight, steep and windy road and people need to drive with caution, watch for oncoming traffic on the tight corners and also allow extra time for their travel.

“Holiday weekends are always busy and with the increase in traffic on the road and with this added road closure we are expecting more congestion and delays through this area.

“We ask motorists to consider delaying their travel and where possible, consider leaving once the road has reopened and the traffic is lighter.”

Once SH1 is open it will take some time to clear the truck from the road.

The highway is closed in both directions between Pukerua Bay and Plimmerton after the single-vehicle incident at 3.45am.

Police are warning the road could remain closed until late this afternoon.

Fire and Emergency New Zealand (FENZ) was seeking advice on how best to deal with the chemicals, a spokeswoman said.

The truck driver suffered minor injuries.

Witnesses said there was a large emergency service presence at the scene, with major detours in place.

The detour for the road closure on SH1 is via Paekākāriki Hill Rd but is only suitable for light vehicles.

Police said trucks were being stopped from travelling north and south on the detour.

Cars are u-turning at the roundabout near Palmers Garden Centre in Plimmerton.

Local resident Grant Patterson says the road up the coast was quiet.

“There are no cars on the road at all on the way to Pukerua Bay from what I can see and there are about 10 trucks jammed in at the weigh station.”

NZTA regional transport system manager Mark Owen said the incident was going to have a significant impact throughout this morning and probably the rest of the day.

“Obviously we are very conscious that lots of people want to head out of town for the long weekend so we’ll be working through the morning to work out what the plans are.”

Ian Lyall, the owner of Brentwood Transport Limited, a freight transport company based in Lower Hutt, managed to make it through to Wellington from Kapiti just before the road was closed this morning.

“I leave home around 3.15am so I was just in front of it.

“I got here which I’m quite lucky about I guess, I’m going to Australia today. My son’s still stuck in Paraparaumu but he’s going to jump on a train, get into town and I’ll pick him up.”

Kind locals have been out offering drivers stuck on the road food and drinks. Photo / Truckies of NZ Facebook

Kind locals have been out offering drivers stuck on the road food and drinks. Photo / Truckies of NZ Facebook

 

Lyall said it is a major inconvenience and he feels sorry for everyone sitting in the traffic.

“Plenty of headaches for people travelling away for the weekend I’d imagine. Unfortunately not good timing.”

Lyall said normally they would send one or two trucks up the Kapiti Coast, but today they were having to go over the Remutaka Hill Road and through Wairarapa instead.

“It has Palmerston North freight on it so it has to get there today. Will probably add about half an hour to the journey.”

The NZTA said it would provide its next update by 2pm.

A truck driver enjoys a scone delivered by locals while stuck on the road. Photo / Truckies of NZ Facebook

A truck driver enjoys a scone delivered by locals while stuck on the road. Photo / Truckies of NZ Facebook

The planned closure of Paekākāriki Hill Road has been cancelled for today and the road will remain open.

Owen said crews would work with truck drivers at both ends of the road closure.

“Typically we just stack them up and they’ll just have to wait until we get more advice about what the options are.”

The detour route had been scheduled to close today from midday until 9pm to keep holidaymakers safe.

That was due to the risk to drivers from both the steep, winding road and merging with holiday traffic on State Highway 1.

State Highway 1 at Airlie Road looks like a ghost motorway due to the road closure. Photo / NZTA

State Highway 1 at Airlie Road looks like a ghost motorway due to the road closure. Photo / NZTA

Owen said Paekākāriki Hill Rd was tight and torturous and not a highway.

He said motorists needed to be patient and careful.

“There are some fairly blind corners on that road and we want to try and keep the speeds down and keep that route open and safe for everyone that needs to use it.”

Posted in NEWS |

Summer Fire Safety Story

Summer is coming and its time to get the barbeque out for the traditional Kiwi feast.

Its also time to think about summer fire safety.

As the sun starts to shine, we also need to be aware of the power of the sun and how that can cause some fire safety issues around the home.

Take the following story that occurred this spring on a sunny Wellington day.

It was a beautiful spring day in Wellington, with the sun shining and the temperature hitting around 18 degrees.

A friend of mine came home to find her house full of smoke.

She had left a tea towel in a metal bowl on the windowsill, and this is what she came home to;

It would seem the heat of the day in the metal bowl has caused the tea towel to smoulder and possibly catch fire.

Thankfully there were no curtains above the bowl, but the heat did leave a burn on the wood of the window frame;

 

The house was fitted with smoke detectors, that appear to have activated as they batteries were dead when checked (now replaced), but the house is off the road, and during the day it seems no-body could hear them.

This is an event that could have resulted in much worse of an outcome.

Thankfully only very minor damage to the home and the loss of a tea towel were the only results.

So when thinking about fire safety, its not just the obvious that can cause a fire.

Sunlight on surfaces that absorb heat, light reflecting through a water bottle onto a surface, these small seemingly insignificant things can also be a risk.

Remember to install smoke detectors and test them, and if you hear a smoke alarm sounding, don’t be afraid to call 111 and have the Fire Brigade come and investigate.

One day the house that’s saved might be your own.

Posted in NEWS |

Fire in the laundry at The Lodge, Pauatahanui Inlet

Fire and Emergency attended a fire at The Lodge at Pauatahanui Inlet on Monday morning.

Fire and Emergency attended a fire at The Lodge at Pauatahanui Inlet on Monday morning. – MONIQUE FORD /STUFF

Paekakariki Hill Rd was briefly shut on Monday morning as Fire and Emergency put out a fire at The Lodge at Pauatahanui Inlet.

Senior station officer David Campbell said Fire and Emergency was alerted to the fire about 6am on Monday.

When crews arrived, flames were coming out of the southwest side of the conference area.

Senior station officer David Campbell said the fire fighters worked hard to stop the blaze spreading.

Senior station officer David Campbell said the fire fighters worked hard to stop the blaze spreading. – MONIQUE FORD/STUFF

At least 10 fire trucks plus extras were called in.

The fire was largely contained to the laundry and surrounding area thanks to a quick response and working alarms.

At least 10 trucks were called to the fire.

At least 10 trucks were called to the fire. – MONIQUE FORD /STUFF

“The guys worked really hard.”

Nobody was in the area the fire was in when it began.

The cause of the fire would be investigated.

The Lodge should be reopening today. (File photo)

The Lodge should be reopening today. (File photo) – SUPPLIED

He understood the conference centre would be up and running again soon.

The road reopened about 6.45am.

Stuff

Posted in NEWS |

Guess what’s likely causing domestic appliance fires? You.

A controlled burn done by Fire & Emergency NZ for television illustrates just how quickly a home can take light.

A controlled burn done by Fire & Emergency NZ for television illustrates just how quickly a home can take light. – FIRE AND EMERGENCY NZ

You’ve heard the urban myths about domestic appliances bursting into flames and consuming their owner’s houses – but a quick look at the facts shows that the real culprit is likely to be the humans who use them.

Statistics from Fire & Emergency NZ show that in the last five years, 294 fires were caused by “failures to clean” (for example, forgetting to clean the lint out for your dryer), 284 fires were caused by people putting “combustible” things too close to the heater, and 258 were from the careless disposal of cigarettes, embers or ash. Unattended cooking still reigned supreme however, coming in at 893 occurrences.

We’re tired when we get home from work, we’re desperate to get warm, we get bored or distracted – we’re only human. It’s easy for the sensible precautions to go in the “too hard” basket.

If the principal advisor of fire risk management for the Auckland region, Mike Shaw, could drive any message home about fire safety and appliances, it would be simply to always read the instructions.

Here’s a common sense rundown for home appliances that Fire & Emergency NZ would like us to keep in mind.

DRYERS

It's been said before and we'll say it again - don't leave your dryer running when you go out.

It’s been said before and we’ll say it again – don’t leave your dryer running when you go out. – JANE USSHER/NZ HOUSE & GARDEN

It’s simple – remove the lint from the dryer after every use, make sure the dryer is well ventilated and don’t turn it on and then go out.

Static electricity and build up of heat can cause dust, lint and chemical residue on clothing to catch fire.

If you’re a regular user of hair or massage oil, your towels can pose a particular fire risk.

“Over time the oils become impregnated into the fabric,” said Shaw. It doesn’t take much for these to catch light, especially if your dryer doesn’t have an automatic-off switch.

DISHWASHERS

Stacking your dishwasher correctly really is an art - and an important safety measure.

Stacking your dishwasher correctly really is an art – and an important safety measure.

A dishwasher bursting into flames seems like an oxymoron, but what this is most often caused by is poor stacking.

“If you load a small plastic lid into a large slot and it falls through the cage onto a heater element during the drying cycle, it will catch fire,” said Shaw.

MICROWAVES

When you are planning a kitchen, leave space around your microwave.

When you are planning a kitchen, leave space around your microwave. – RESENE

The biggest problem with microwave fires, other than improper things being put inside (we all know cutlery is a no-no) is smothering the extractor fans.

“You need an area around the device,” said Shaw.

So if you’re building a new kitchen and intend on including a microwave, make sure to factor in enough space around it. In an existing kitchen, though tempting, don’t try to make it look cute by stacking with cookbooks or knick-knacks, it could be your undoing.

TOASTERS

Toasters put out a lot of heat so if you store it in an enclosed area, pull it out into the open before use.

Toasters put out a lot of heat so if you store it in an enclosed area, pull it out into the open before use. – JACKIE MEIRING/NZ HOUSE & GARDEN

Obviously due to the nature of a toaster, there’s going to be a lot of hot air coming out the top. Don’t run your toaster inside a cupboard or underneath a shelf or bench.

Amelia Macandrew, Customer Relations Manager, AA Insurance, recommends playing it safe and keep your toaster turned off at the wall when you’re not using it.

“Turn off all non-essential electrical appliances at the wall before you go to bed or work,” she said.

DVD PLAYERS, SKY-BOXES AND GAME CONSOLES

Televisions and DVD players need room to ventilate so don't stack things on them.

Televisions and DVD players need room to ventilate so don’t stack things on them. – RESENE

Consider this just one more reason why playing Xbox all night is a bad idea. Extended use causes devices like this to heat up.

“Things like DVDplayers and sky-boxes have vents which shouldn’t be covered,” said Shaw.

Apply the microwave principles above and go to bed for goodness’ sake.

HAIR STRAIGHTENERS

Hair dryers are quite a common cause of domestic fires.

Hair dryers are quite a common cause of domestic fires.

A “very common” source of domestic fires is hair straighteners being accidentally left on and put down on a soft surface like carpet, a couch or a bed, said Shaw.

Make a habit of unplugging it from the wall when you’re done.

SLOW COOKERS AND OVENS

Slow cookers are handy and make delicious food, just make sure to use it correctly.

Slow cookers are handy and make delicious food, just make sure to use it correctly. – MARION VAN DIJK/STUFF

Shaw is a fan of slow cookers like many of us and said dangers with such a device will relate to how it is used. It’s fine to set and forget your slow cooker, but make sure that it is set up on a clear bench and not sitting on its own cord.

However tempting, it is not recommended that ovens are left on while you pop to the shops.

OIL COLUMN HEATERS AND ELECTRIC BLANKETS

Even if you have a thermostat, it's not recommended that you leave your heater on when you're asleep or out.

Even if you have a thermostat, it’s not recommended that you leave your heater on when you’re asleep or out. – iSTOCK

Whilst perhaps the safest of heaters, Shaw does not recommend leaving your oil column heater on overnight or when you’re out, even if it has a thermostat.

When you are using it or any heating device, stick to the “heater-metre rule”.

“Keep furniture, clothing, curtains and toys a metre away from heaters and fireplaces,” said Macandrew. “[And] always turn off your electric blanket before getting into bed.”

PHONE AND COMPUTER CHARGERS

Charging devices need space to breathe.

Charging devices need space to breathe. – 123RF

Phone chargers causing fires is another one that’s on us apparently. “It’s misuse,” said Shaw. “Anything that’s charging a battery gets warm.”

Leave your phone on a hard surface like a table when charging, and without anything on top of it. Do not put it in your bed or under your pillow.

“Think of a power cord like a hose with water going through,” said Shaw. “Don’t put, for example, a table leg on a computer power cord, it can cause a heat build up.”

MULTI-BOARDS

Similarly, Shaw recommended being wary of plugging too many things into multi boards, or buying cheap versions that don’t have a surge switch. Macandrew agreed.

“During winter when a greater number of heating appliances are used, we recommend Kiwis take care not to overload or smother multi-boards and sockets to avoid overheating,” said Macandrew.

“Don’t overload multi-boards and always untangle appliance cords to make sure there’s no fraying.”

– Homed

Posted in NEWS |

Investigation underway after fire destroys part of Porirua shopping block

An investigation has been  launched into the cause of a late-night blaze that burnt-down a derelict part of a Porirua shopping centre.

A fire investigator and a police photographer were going through the charred remains of the derelict commercial property tucked among shops along Mentor Lane at Cannons Creek on Monday.

It took about 40 firefighters from 11 fire appliances to quell the blaze, which grew higher than a lamppost at one point, at about 11pm the previous night.

More than 40 firefighters tackled a blaze in Porirua overnight.

More than 40 firefighters tackled a blaze in Porirua overnight. – STEVEN BIDDLE

Paul Wahid, who runs a nearby SuperValu store, said he understood the building used to be a bar but it had been closed for years.

Kids used to climb onto the buildings and get inside, he said. “There’s a lot of kids, young kids, out on the roof all the time.”

Police and a fire investigator were at the scene on Monday morning.

Police and a fire investigator were at the scene on Monday morning – JARED NICOLL

The fire had caused a power outage, which was still affecting the shops into the next day.

“It’s costing all of us big time. All the freezers [are off].”

His colleague, Jackson Singh, said he was working in the store that night when the blaze started at the front of the building nearby and smoke filled the sky “big time”.

A large fire burned out a derelict building at the Cannons Creek Shopping Centre in Porirua on the night of March 25.

A large fire burned out a derelict building at the Cannons Creek Shopping Centre in Porirua on the night of March 25 – JARED NICOLL

The flames were “higher than the [street] lights”.

“One of the other boys, he ran in back in there, and he couldn’t speak; he was just making these funny faces, and I said, ‘calm down, calm down’.”

Fire and Emergency New Zealand assistant area commander for Wellington David Campbell said his officers’ top priority was to stop the blaze spreading to other shops.

The front of the burnt out former business.

The front of the burnt out former business. – JARED NICOLL 

“It was burning very well by the time crews got there and had spread to an adjoining building.”

Firefighters were faced with an indoor battle, full of machinery and debris.

“The structure was collapsing so I couldn’t send anyone inside … it was all [done] from the outside; surround and drown.”

He understood the owner of the derelict building previously tried to start it up as a bar..

A fire investigator was up there on Monday, “having a rummage through the remains to locate a cause”.

“It’s probably been started by someone. It’s probably a crime scene.”

 – Stuff

Posted in NEWS |

Fire damages Porirua commercial block

The blaze caused “extensive damage” to the block on Mentor Lane, which sits behind the main Cannons Creek shops late on Sunday evening.

More than 40 firefighters tackled a blaze in Porirua overnight.

More than 40 firefighters tackled a blaze in Porirua overnight. – STEVEN BEDDIE

Fire and Emergency New Zealand was alerted to the fire shortly after 11pm Sunday.

More than 40 firefighters were greeted by a building which was well-involved in fire, according to shift manager Jan Wills.

One fire truck was still being used to dampen down hot spots on Monday morning.

Wills would not be drawn on whether the blaze was suspicious, but confirmed a fire investigator would be at the scene on Monday.

 – Stuff

Posted in NEWS |

Unattended cooking possible cause of housing unit fire in Porirua

No-one was injured in a kitchen fire at a home along Mungavin Ave in Porirua.

No-one was injured in a kitchen fire at a home along Mungavin Ave in Porirua. – SIMON MAUDE/STUFF

Unattended cooking could be responsible for a fire that “burnt out” a second-storey housing unit in Porirua.

Fire and Emergency Services NZ were called to what started as a kitchen fire in a two-storey block of four, understood to belong to Housing NZ, along Mungavin Ave in Cannons Creek about 8am on Friday.

Senior station officer Trevor Sheehan, of Porirua, said the “straight-forward” job meant his team had things under control within an hour.

Working smoke alarms alerted the occupants to get outside, meaning no-one was injured.

Although the cause of the fire was still undetermined, initial thoughts were that it started in the kitchen, possibly because of unattended cooking.

Part of the street was blocked off while four fire trucks and a command unit brought the blaze under control, which took about 45 minutes plus another 2.5 hours to dampen.

The neighbouring units suffered smoke and heat damage.

STUFF –  JARED NICOLL

Posted in NEWS |
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