Toaster likely cause of blaze

KATHRYN KING
Last updated 12:00 03/12/2013
Fire
MURRAY WILSON/ Fairfax NZ
GUTTED: A house in Terrace End, Palmerston North, was yesterday gutted by a fire believed to have started in a toaster.

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A toaster is believed to be the cause of a fire that has destroyed a Palmerston North home.

Fire services were called to the house, at Ruamahanga Cres in Terrace End, about 10.15am yesterday, but Palmerston North fire safety officer Kerry O'Keefe said it was likely the toaster had been smouldering well before then.

The toaster had been left plugged in inside a kitchen benchtop built-in bread bin with a pulldown door, which had caught the switch as it closed, he said. The occupants of the house had left by about 8.15am, and it was likely it had been smouldering since then, he said.

Neighbours were alerted to the fire by the sound of windows blowing out, but a smoke alarm would probably have caught their attention earlier had there been one working, Mr O'Keefe said. The only room not damaged by fire or smoke was the toilet, despite all the doors being closed. A ventilation system had dispersed the smoke throughout the house, he said.

The occupants of the house, who were at work at the time of the fire, declined to comment.

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- Manawatu Standard

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