Fire-hit sculptor plans victim support group

Artist wants healing after losing everything

Last updated 05:00 11/04/2014
Meg Ransom
Cameron Burnell/Fairfax NZ

HELP AT HAND: Meg Ransom wants to start a support group.

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A Wellington sculptor who lost almost everything in the Kiwi Self Storage fire wants to start a support group for victims with no insurance.

"If people were able to come together it would help a lot with healing, but nobody has any idea who anybody is," Megan Ransom said.

Her unit, on the second floor of the Kilbirnie complex, was near the seat of the fire. It contained bronze sculpting tools and household items worth between $20,000 and $50,000.

But believing her belongings would be safe, she - like many others - had not opted for insurance. She understood about 80 per cent of the units were not insured.

"I could see where the fire hoses were pointing and it was right at my unit, so I knew it wasn't good. I've lost everything."

She was allowed to inspect her unit yesterday, with the only recognisable thing left being the remnants of a washing machine.

"There's a trickle-down effect that has hurt a lot of people," she said. "My career has basically been stopped."

She has started a Facebook group called Kiwi Inferno Storage. The group would also explore what legal avenues were open to it, such as seeking compensation.

The Self Storage Association of Australasia's New Zealand representative, Keith Edwards, said its members had noticed a small increase in the number of people seeking insurance. "But probably not as much as I'd expect."

On Wednesday police released CCTV footage of a man seen carrying a 25-litre tank into the self-storage building just before the fire started.

Inquiries are continuing.

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- The Dominion Post

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