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Child in care after garage fire

JAY BOREHAM AND FAIRFAX NZ NEWS
Last updated 12:54 05/12/2012

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A child has been taken from its mother after a house fire believed to have been triggered by a P lab explosion.

Firefighters were called to a Housing New Zealand property in Chantal Place, Red Hill, about noon on Monday and found the house and garage ablaze.

The fire appears to have been started by some sort of vapour explosion, fire risk management officer Phil Faidley says.

Police are investigating because of the nature of equipment found at the property, he says.

A police spokeswoman says items found in the garage suggested a methamphetamine lab was in operation.

"Our clan lab team were called in and located paraphernalia and utensils and some remains of meth manufacture."

Police have charged two women with allowing the premises to be used to make methamphetamine. They were to appear in the Papakura District Court yesterday.

Child, Youth and Family regional director Sharon Thom says the child, believed to be 2 years old, is being looked after by family members.

The people living at the property were not previously known to CYF and she says it is "satisfied the child is safe".

A man and a woman who left the house before emergency services arrived are being sought by police.

The police spokeswoman says their identities are unknown. Police have checked nearby accident and emergency departments and hospitals for burns victims but the pair has not been found.

Detective Senior Sergeant Aaron Proctor says getting involved in the drug business has serious risks and consequences for the community, especially when children are involved.

He urges members of the public to report suspicious activity or criminal offending, either through 111 immediately if they witness serious offending or anonymously through the 0800 555 111 Crimestoppers line.

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- Papakura Courier

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