'We need a house' - fire victims

Mother searches for new home after fire

KATHRYN KING
Last updated 12:00 11/02/2014
Hayley Guinan

Tenants of a Heatherlea Heights home in Feilding have lost all their possesseions in the blaze.

Fire
WARWICK SMITH/FAIRFAX NZ
DEVASTATED: For the first time since the fire, Lisa Nuku returns to the Feilding house she lived in with her son, Southern-Rome.

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The destruction of a Feilding woman's home in a fire is a double blow to the family who have already had a child injured in a car accident.

Lisa Nuku's home at Heatherlea Heights, Feilding, was destroyed by fire last week, prompting an outpouring of donations from the community to help her get back on her feet.

It's the second blow Ms Nuku has had in the past few years.

Ms Nuku was pushing her then 2-year-old son, Southern-Rome Nuku, across a pedestrian crossing on Feilding's Kimbolton Rd in 2012, when the pram was clipped by a passing motorist.

Her son was thrown from the pram, badly injuring his left hand, which later had a finger amputated.

A week on from the fire, Ms Nuku, who is pregnant with another baby due in May, says she is living with a friend and struggling to find a house to move into.

"My son is wanting to be home and is wondering why we're not; it's just hard to explain to him we don't have anywhere to go.

"I just need a stable place to put my baby."

Ms Nuku thought she was moving into a new home yesterday, but her application was unsuccessful and she wasn't sure why.

It had since gone to another family.

"I just don't know what to do."

Ms Nuku said she had applied for a number of houses already, but had been turned down.

She had good landlords in the past, and had references from them, she said.

The house that burnt down was a private rental.

She couldn't afford to rent a house for more than $300 and needed one with at least three bedrooms.

Her sister and her nephew were also living with her at the time the house burnt down, so they also needed somewhere to live.

Goods donated to her were still at Manchester House while she looked for a house of her own, but that wasn't a long-term solution either, as the agency needed the space back.

The people who had donated to her were "lovely", but the items were no good without a place to put them.

Ms Nuku was looking at a couple more houses yesterday and said she hoped something would come of that.

Feilding police Acting Detective Sergeant Felicity Cato said she expected to get the fire investigators' report this week into the cause of the fire.

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- Manawatu Standard

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