Alert stranger saves day

Last updated 05:00 16/06/2014

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If not for the quick actions of a passer-by, Invercargill man Jarred Martin might have lost his home.

Bainfield Rd homeowner Martin was surprised by a knock on his door about 8.30 on Friday night.

A stranger who was driving past had spotted a blaze in Martin's garage and pulled over to raise the alarm.

"Two minutes later and the house would have been on fire," he said.

With his partner out of town, Martin was at home alone relaxing in the lounge and had no idea what was going on at the other end of the house, he said.

The fire set the macrocarpa hedge next to the garage alight, melted the house spouting and blew out the windows in the spare bedroom.

"Considering how bad it could have been we got off lightly."

Tools and appliances stored in the garage were destroyed, and a kayak was a "pile of ash," he said.

The first thing he did after calling the fire service was make sure his two dogs and miniature horses were safely moved away from the flames.

"The fire service were incredibly impressive, they were here about 10 minutes after I called."

Three fire engines, two water tankers, and 16 firefighters battled the blaze for about two hours.

Invercargill station officer Graeme Gilroy said the cause of the fire was still unknown but it was not thought to be suspicious.

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- The Southland Times

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