Men save deaf woman from fire

16:00, Jan 27 2014
HEROES: From left Saili Tutagalevao, Ricky Ikisone, Jason Kingi, Vaimili Alefosio and Senisese Tuia

A group of men are being praised for rescuing a deaf woman from a house fire while simultaneously extinguishing the blaze.

The fire started in the rear of the Glendene home on Thursday afternoon but the sole occupant was unaware of the flames at her back door.

Eunike Mose, 30, is profoundly deaf and had stepped outside for a cigarette but had not disposed of the butt as carefully as she thought.

GRATEFUL: Glendene woman Eunike Mose couldn’t hear the popping of the fibrolite explosions.

She believes after going back inside the wind carried the butt back towards the Housing New Zealand house.

The exterior cladding is made of fibrolite which explodes when too much heat is applied but Miss Mose couldn't hear the popping noises.

Fortunately a group of contractors working nearby saw the wall go up in flames.


Jason Kingi was the first to notice the fire.

"I was dropping off a load on the opposite side," he says.

"I was turning in towards the driveway and I saw the outside was semi-engulfed.

"Straightaway I was worried if anybody was inside.

"We had worked on that driveway previously and I'd seen a lady early on but at the time we didn't know she was deaf."

He leapt into action calling to his colleagues to give him a hand.

"I yelled out to the bros to knock on the window and see if anybody was home and then I automatically called 111 and got the fire brigade out."

Within minutes the five of them had escorted Miss Mose from the house and put the flames out with their hoses.

Miss Mose says she is shaken up but OK after the ordeal. She lives with her father and siblings but the family is on holiday in Samoa.

They have been living in the house for only two months.

It wasn't until she saw the men tapping on her window that she realised something was wrong.

Miss Mose is grateful to the men for their actions and encourages others to ensure they've properly disposed of their cigarette butts.

Henderson senior fire officer Jim Maclean says there's no doubt the men stopped the fire from spreading.

"It would only have been a few more minutes before it penetrated the inside of the house," he says.

A Housing New Zealand spokeswoman says all its properties are equipped with fire alarms including some with special alarms with lights for hearing impaired.

"The person who has the tenancy didn't indicate they would need one however we will make sure we put a fire alarm with lights in the house when they return.

Western Leader