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Taita man's week from hell

KAROLINE TUCKEY
Last updated 12:29 21/02/2013

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''A week from hell'' is how a Taita man describes losing his house to fire just  three days after being robbed.

George Monk's Taita Dr house went up in smoke yesterday; on Monday he was robbed of thousands of dollars of computers and electrical equipment.

Last night, after he put a sausage and egg to cook on the stove and sat down to watch television, Mr Monk's lounge filled up with dark smoke.

Choking, he tried to escape through the nearest windows, but they would not open. He said he then dashed down the hallway through the smoke, past the burning stove, and out the back door.

''There was flame alright, about the stove and upwards, and I had to get past that.

''I ran,'' he says.

The fire caught just after 6pm and a massive dark smoke plume was seen across the valley from Seaview.

It was brought under control by five fire engines, from Avalon, Stokes Valley, Hutt Central and Seaview.

A command unit from Wellington also attended, along with a breathing apparatus unit and the Rimutaka fire police van/

Hutt Valley police closing down part of Taita Dr and managing a large group of onlookers gathered on the river stop bank.

Mr Monk, an appliance serviceman, bought the Taita Dr house in September, and was in the middle of two weeks leave to strip and repaint the exterior.

Insurance should help to cover both the fire and burglary, he said, but that was a small consolation.

''It's like what's next, they are meant to happen in three's.''

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