Kapiti house destroyed
A neighbour of a Raumati house destroyed in a massive blaze dragged her sleeping children to safety as the fire drew close to her home.
Gina Warren's dog Tiki alerted her to the fire about 9.30pm. She went out to see what the problem was, heard a loud smash and saw flames leaping from the windows of the neighbouring house on Matai Rd.
Miss Warren raced around the house looking for her cellphone, rang 111 and tore inside to get her children. She could not wake the sleeping 4,, 8 and 10 year olds, so dragged them by their ankles out onto the deck.
"Flames were pouring out the windows. Within three minutes the house was engulfed. The roof fell in within minutes," Miss Warren said.
She screamed out to a neighbour on the other side of the burning house who hosed his trees to prevent them catching fire.
The fire brigade arrived as a tree caught fire close to her house and fire fighters started hosing down the side of her home.
"If it had been five minutes later or there had been a southerly my house would caught fire," she said.
The owner of the house, a 75 year old man with reduced mobility, had gone away about a week ago to attend a family wedding in Greece.
Fire Service specialist fire investigator Peter Fox believed the fire, which was not being treated as suspicious, had been smouldering for some time before neighbours noticed it. Mr Fox believed it was caused by an electrical fault as it appeared to have started in the charred stairwell where an electricity mains power board was located.
The site had to be cleaned up promptly, as there was asbestos and loose iron strewn on the property.
Paraparaumu fire station officer Jason Brinck said twenty firefighters fought the blaze.
The fire also destroyed vehicles parked in a garage on the ground floor of the house.
Fire Safety investigators are investigating.
The Dominion Post