Fire rips through Te Aroha home video

CHRISTEL YARDLEY/STUFF

A fire engulfed a Te Aroha home in the early hours on Sunday morning.

A woman woke to the sound of smashing glass overnight before opening her bedroom door to a wall of black smoke.

The smoke alarms were working but because of their location they didn't sound immediately.

The woman rushed to rouse three other people inside and they all escaped with just the clothes on their backs at 3.30am, fire investigator Kevin Holmes said outside the burnt-out Te Aroha home on Sunday.

The Te Aroha home was fully ablaze when the fire service arrived on the scene.
CHRISTEL YARDLEY/STUFF

The Te Aroha home was fully ablaze when the fire service arrived on the scene.

The occupants, sleepy but uninjured, watched from the roadside as flames tore through the white weatherboard house on Stirling St. 

READ MORE:
Police investigate model train station fire in Hamilton
Family ute set on fire by cellphone on the way to Saturday sports
Ford ute catches fire in driveway

It was one of five fires in the Waikato over the weekend.

Fire investigator Kevin Holmes and the remains of the house.
CHRISTEL YARDLEY/STUFF

Fire investigator Kevin Holmes and the remains of the house.

On Friday night, the old model railway station at Hamilton Domain was destroyed in a suspicious fire and in the early hours of Saturday morning Waikato firefighters attended a bach blaze in Matamata.

Holmes believed the Te Aroha house fire started in the kitchen.

Although there were working smoke alarms, Holmes said they were not where they should have been. 

The floor in the lounge and kitchen area of the home area collapsed.
CHRISTEL YARDLEY/STUFF

The floor in the lounge and kitchen area of the home area collapsed.

"The alarms were in the hallway and the fire hadn't quite reached where the alarms were so it was lucky an occupant woke up," he said.

Ad Feedback

"Ideally, there should have been some in the lounge room.

"People should never underestimate the speed of fire. It can become [fatal] in less than five minutes.

Te Aroha Volunteer Fire Brigade chief fire officer, Roger Clark, says six fire trucks helped battle the blaze.
CHRISTEL YARDLEY/STUFF

Te Aroha Volunteer Fire Brigade chief fire officer, Roger Clark, says six fire trucks helped battle the blaze.

"It's important we have working smoke alarms, we need that early warning to be able to get out."

Stirling St resident John Rudge said a young couple had lived in the house for about six years. 

He woke to the sound of an explosion on Sunday and saw the house's verandah on fire. 

The fire melted the side of a truck that was parked in the driveway.
CHRISTEL YARDLEY/STUFF

The fire melted the side of a truck that was parked in the driveway.

He dialed 111. He and the neighbours made sure the occupants and two dogs made it out safe. 

"It didn't take long ... within minutes, well and truly before the fire brigade had got here, that whole house was engulfed in flames. 

"There were flames coming out of all the windows and it was quite frightening because we were concerned about the neighbours' houses as well."

The roof of the house collapsed and the floor of the lounge was gone, which made Holmes' job a bit tricky.

He used stepping plates and put them across the floor joists to make his way around the home. 

Chief fire officer for the Te Aroha Volunteer Fire Brigade, Roger Clark, said six fire trucks were called to the fire around 3.30am.

 - Stuff

Comments

Ad Feedback
special offers
Auckland

EDITORIAL: Make your voice count

At the ballot.

EDITORIAL: If you've been driving around South Auckland lately, you will have noticed a colourful change to our streets.

Periodic table gets new look

Dr Nicola Gaston's emoji periodic table is a thing of beauty.

As far as scientific breakthroughs go, the emoji periodic table is up there with splitting the atom.

Gunman believed at large video

A bullet hole can be seen in the windscreen of a red 4x4 inside the cordon.

Police are hunting for a gunman after two people were feared shot dead and a third injured in Northland.

Someone yelled 'she's got a knife'

Anna Brown, 36, denies murdering Carly Stewart.

Witness says she could sense something was about to happen - seconds later her cousin lay dead.

Wellington

Pedestrian hit in Lower Hutt

Ambulances and police at the scene of an accident at a Lower Hutt roundabout.

Pedestrian in hospital after being hit by car near a busy Lower Hutt intersection.

NZ not ready for Asia

The survey has raised concerns school-leavers might be missing out on opportunities coming as New Zealand grows closer ...

Many senior high school students have poor knowledge of Asia. What about you? Try our quiz.

Warrant issued for Napier beggar

A warrant to arrest Frank Lovich was issued by Judge Geoff Rea on Wednesday.

Man with more than 300 convictions fails to show in court

Concern for missing woman

Missing woman Tamzyn Whitehead, 41, last seen in central Waikanae.

A police search is underway for a woman last seen in Waikanae on the Kapiti Coast. 

Canterbury

Firewood queues for hours video

Adrian Allen loads firewood into his vehicle at City Firewood. He had a big load delivered after Christmas but has burnt ...

Hundreds of people queued for hours to buy firewood from Christchurch's largest supplier as harsh wintry continues loom.

Car dealer's road rage

Christchurch car dealer Nigel Thompson motors admitted assaulting a man after a collision, but escaped conviction "by a ...

He got angry after a crash, punched a man who told him to calm down, but avoided conviction by citing good works.

Snow crack clears ski area

Avalanche work was carried out at Broken River ski area after a crack was discovered in the snow pack.

Skiers were taken off a Canterbury skifield after a 30-metre crack ripped across the snow.

Rain, snow warning

Surface flooding in Christchurch on Friday. MetService says Canterbury will get "persistent" rain on Thursday.

Snow could hamper travel on alpine passes as a front moves up South Island.

Waikato

Driving eases family's struggle

Anita Annan, 4, suffers from a progressive illness affecting her nervous system.

When you're dealt a heart-breaking hand, sometimes little things make a big difference.

House bought unseen

Post-auction celebrations continued into the evening after Donald Gordon (right) sold his unfinished house to Raglan ...

Raglan man who bought another man's unfinished dream house before seeing it was "blown away" when he did.

Pig's life of 'misery' revealed video

SAFE has now launched a petition calling for the government to stop mother pigs being confined to cages.

Campaigners say footage shows crates are cruel, expert says they save piglets.

Jury out in neck slashing trial

A High Court jury are considering their verdicts in the trial of Sameh Khalil Salem Ali, 42, who has been charged with ...

Both sides in the case of Sameh Ali have delivered their final arguments.

Taranaki

Pine trees turning red

Pine trees affected with red needle cast which has been seen in Taranaki

It may look like they're dying but these pine trees are just sick.

The last four are the best four

The Crusaders know how to work collectively to shut down opposition.

Crusaders should meet the Hurricanes in the Super Rugby final.

To Nelson, direct

Originair will offer direct flights between New Plymouth and Nelson from late-September.

Nelson and New Plymouth are to have a direct air link.

Learning to poach properly

Sauce is drizzled over the pears.

Most can poach an egg but the method of cooking is not used well in the kitchen, a teacher says.

Manawatu

They're yelling timber

Reclaimed Timber Traders boss Robert Scott amid a vast array of wood.

Palmerston North's Reclaimed Timber Traders loses its lease.

Closure an opportunity

The Manawatu Gorge is closed indefinitely.

A "significantly more resilient route" is expected in the likelihood the gorge will never reopen.

Horowhenua councillor cleared

Horowhenua councillor Ross Campbell is not in breach of his council's code of conduct, an investigation has found.

Under-fire chief executive "dulled" down findings, cleared Ross Campbell councillor claims.

Anzac wreaths cost police thousands

Police have traditionally laid wreaths at Anzac Day services, but they're cutting back on the practice in the Central ...

Taxpayers have forked out more than $30,000 for police to lay wreaths in the past three years.

Nelson

Ex junior All Black fulfills wish

Doug Murcott and Sally Tolliday on their wedding day at the Nelson Tasman Hospice.

Doug Murcott loses his fight with throat cancer just days after fulfilling his dying wish to marry his partner.

Anatomy of a shooting

Ford Hurinui who was shot by Police in Motueka on August 20, 2015.

Holding a shotgun and surrounded by police Ford Hurinui was "prepared to die".

Robbery suspect found

Victory Discount Dairy manager Darshini Chauhan's store was robbed at gunpoint earlier this month.

A fourth man has been arrested over the armed robbery of a dairy in Victory, near Nelson, earlier this month.

Truck rolls near St Arnaud

Police are attending to a crash near St Arnaud.

Bridge closed while crane retrieves truck on Picton to Christchurch highway.

Marlborough

Abseilers on a mesh mission

Abseilers working at the top of a bluff at Ohau Point, with a view down to the Pacific Ocean.

Ohau Point is the only place roading contractors can't reach, but abseilers with a head for heights are working to change that.

Truck rolls on SH63

Police are attending to a crash near St Arnaud.

The alternate highway claims another truck, but luckily nobody was hurt.

Cycle trail will happen - advocate

A cycleway will run along the edge of this damaged stretch of SH1, just south of Ohau Point, as part of $231 million of ...

Government chips in to build stretch around Ohau Point, deemed the most difficult section.

Time to fix 'scary' highway

The section of State Highway 6 from Okaramio to Havelock is the most dangerous stretch on the Blenheim to Nelson road, ...

The road from Blenheim to Nelson has claimed 12 lives in 10 years. Now it's a priority.

South Canterbury

Celtic set to be best

Celtic are shooting for their ninth consecutive title. (From left) Matt Fetu, captain Nick Strachan and Kali Latu have ...

Celtic Rugby Club's golden run in grand finals could see them stand alone.

Infected cows must go

Labour spokesman for Primary Industries Damien O'Connor is calling for all the cows on the property where Mycoplasma ...

The 150 stricken cattle on a South Canterbury farm should be put down, MP says.

Council hotly denies claims

A smoky chimney in Timaru.

ECan shoots down claim by former policeman it could be caught by peeping tom rule.

Wilding conifer GPS welcomed

Wilding pines growing near the shore of Lake Pukaki.

New technology to help fight the spread of wilding conifers welcomed in South Canterbury.

Southland

Resident wants to beautify wharf

Bluff resident Cherie Chapman stands near the closed Bluff Wharf which she wants to see it beautified and made open to ...

Bluff resident Cherie Chapman has put her case to the Bluff Community Board to restore the old Bluff wharf and return it to the public.

Let sleeping seals lie

The seal is believed to have travelled up the nearby Waiau river, and was found about 10kms from the sea.

DOC is asking the public to trust its judgement when it comes to dealing with wild animals.

MPI proposing changes

10082016. News.Kavinda Herath. Southland Times/FairfaxNZ-Uplift of oysters to tanker in  Big Glory Bay, Stewart Island today

MPI is hosting a public meeting about proposed changes to the aquaculture industry.

Coroner reminds hunters of gun safety after death

Cromwell man Garry Tall, 61, was killed in a hunting accident on the Old Woman Range in March 2016.

Cromwell man Garry Tall was an experienced hunter but on March 3, 2016, he died after shooting himself in the stomach after a hunt.

Ad Feedback