Children pulled from burning car

Two children were pulled from a burning car in Warkworth, North Auckland this afternoon after a woman noticed the driver’s seat on fire.

Warkworth firefighters were called to the scene on Baxter St at 1.40pm with reports a car was on fire.

A 6-year-old boy and a 22-month-old child were in the car alone while their mother was in a bank across the road. A fire was started by the older child playing with a lighter, fire investigation and arson reduction manager Peter Wilding says.

A woman walking down the road noticed the fire and pulled the oldest out of the car but struggled to get the younger one free from a child-restraint seat, Warkworth chief firefighter Ian Davies says.

Both children were removed without injury.

The fire was put out by another passerby with a fire extinguisher before firefighters arrived.

‘‘The mother returned to the car and was told what happened, she was pretty upset,’’ Davies says.

‘‘Thankfully the car was unlocked so people could get the children out. I commend the woman who saved the children. She did the right thing getting the kids out.’’

The incident is the third of its kind this year. Two children were dragged from a car in Ohakune earlier this year after they started a fire with a lighter, and another child from a car in Palmerston North.

‘‘It shows the dangers of a lighter with kids. Lighters have a level of child resistance, but unfortunately that doesn’t mean they are child-proof,’’ Wilding says.

‘‘It is only a matter of time before one of these accidents becomes fatal. Don’t leave matches, lighters or even barbecue lighters in the car with children.’’

Rodney Times