Jeans, shoes all Taranaki man has left

BURNT OUT: Sean McCarvill examines what’s left of his home after it caught fire early on Sunday morning.
BURNT OUT: Sean McCarvill examines what’s left of his home after it caught fire early on Sunday morning.

A Taranaki man has been left with nothing but his shoes and a pair of jeans after his home was gutted by fire early yesterday.

Three fire crews spent more than two hours putting out the blaze on Hastings Rd, Mahoe, after being called to the scene about 1.45am.

Sean McCarvill said he was woken early in the morning by his dogs barking, but thought nothing of it and went back to sleep.

"They were going crazy and it woke me up, but I thought they just had a hedgehog or something," the farm worker said.

"I went back to sleep for a bit and then there was a big explosion and I could see a glow in the hallway. I smashed my window with the butt of my gun and threw some of my daughter's belongings out the window."

Mr McCarvill then went to get more of his daughter's things from her bedroom, but got scared and left the house when the power went out.

"It sounded like thunder, like a train was roaring through the house," he said.

"I unclipped my dogs and rang the fire brigade."

The 24-year-old old said his 18-month-old daughter was staying at his mother's because he had to get up early for milking and he didn't want to wake her.

"You wouldn't believe how happy I am she was there," he told the Taranaki Daily News yesterday.

"Her pram, her cot, a million toys, jewellery that each family have given her, it's all gone."

Mr McCarvill said he, too, had lost almost everything in the blaze.

"I've got nothing left, just a pair of jeans and my shoes."

He has no contents insurance.

Eltham deputy chief fire officer Dave Waite said the house was engulfed in flames when firefighters arrived.

"When houses are going like that they are a real job to get under control," he said.

"He is very lucky to get away with his life."

Taranaki fire safety officer Peter Gallagher said the fire started in the laundry.

"Our investigations point to starting in and around the washing machine," Mr Gallagher said.

"The house had alarms, which is pleasing from the fire service's point of view."

Although grateful to be alive, Mr McCarvill said watching the home he grew up in burn had left him asking "what next?".

"I was thinking my whole life is gone, I've got nothing," he said.

"Where do I go? What do I do now?"

Mr McCarvill said he would be staying with his mother until he figured out what to do next.

If you would like to help Mr McCarvill, he can be contacted via his stepfather Tony Fergus on 027 522 3007.

Taranaki Daily News