Fire crews battle Blenheim blaze

Electric blanket likely cause of fire

CHLOE WINTER
Last updated 15:42 07/07/2014
 major house fire
SCOTT HAMMOND/FAIRFAX NZ

ON THE SCENE: Firefighters attempt to bring a major house fire under control in Blenheim on Monday morning.

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No people were injured in a Blenheim house fire this morning but at least one cat died in the blaze.

More than 20 firefighters put out the blaze at a property on Alana Pl about 10.40am.

Blenheim chief fire officer Rob Dalton said he believed the fire was caused by an electric blanket.

A cat was killed in the fire and another was missing, Dalton said.

Bainbridge Building and Roofer manager Nate Bainbridge was one of the first to call emergency services after he heard a loud bang.

"I was outside on the street ... I was just about to go out on a job and then I heard a big bang and the house was engulfed in flames instantly," Bainbridge said.

"I’m not sure if the bang was the windows exploding or what it was. I was like 'what’s going on?'."

Firefighters arrived at the scene not long after he made the call, Bainbridge said.

Thick smoke engulfed the house as firefighters battled to put out the fire, and firefighters with breathing apparatus climbed on to the roof to pull iron off, while others tackled the flames from inside.

Four fire engines attended the scene.

A woman who also called the emergency services said three men tried to put out the fire before firefighters arrived. They smashed the windows and put a hose into the house, she said.

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- The Marlborough Express

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