Burnt-out home 'open day' shocks visitors
The cleanup of a burnt-out Tokomaru home has begun after at least 180 people streamed through the house to see how damaging a fire could be.
Flames tore through the Matipo St house on July 2 in what was the first house fire in Tokomaru for 35 years.
The kitchen and living room were badly damaged and the whole house was smoke damaged.
The two people living in the house were unhurt as they escaped after the alarm went.
Insurance assessors had been through the house, which was now in the early stages of being restored.
The couple were still staying with relatives in Palmerston North.
Deputy chief fire officer Danny Riddiford said the open day was held to let people observe the damage caused by fire.
Firefighters were able to save about 65 per cent of the house, but there was significant damage, despite firefighters arriving only minutes after the fire started.
Mr Riddiford said of the 180 people who went through the house, at least 90 per cent were from Tokomaru, Opiki or Linton, and many of them were children.
"They were overwhelmed by the speed of it, I think it shocked a few of them," Mr Riddiford said.
He said it was "awesome" to see so many kids paying attention to the safety lessons.
Many of them were already educated about the dangers of fire, he said.
Firefighters now had a lot of work ahead of them.
Mr Riddiford said there were several home-safety checks that they did as part of their volunteering.
The fire "open home" was the second to be held in Manawatu in the past few months.
In April, firefighters opened a Shamrock St house in Palmerston North to the public after it was badly burnt. About 200 people went through the house.
- © Fairfax NZ News
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