Man dies in Napier house blaze

A wheelchair-bound man died trying to escape from a blaze in his Hawke's Bay home this morning.

The fire broke out in the flat on Riverbend Rd near Napier shortly after 5am today, Hawke's Bay Fire Service assistant area manager Nigel Hall said.

Neighbours woke to see the detached flat on fire but by that time the flames were too intense to get the man out.
They did though attempt to save the man. None of the would-be rescuers were injured.

It was thought the man, who used a wheelchair, had woken and tried to get out of the burning house but failed.

The Fire Service put out the fire, which destroyed roughly half of the flat.

The flat was thought to be part of a social housing development. The unit was fitted with a hard-wired smoke alarm. It is one of a cluster which neighbours rural agriculture land near Napier.

Fire Safety officers are now at the scene. Hall doubted it would be found to be suspicious.

The Dominion Post