Separate fires rip through homes

BRIDGET RAILTON
Last updated 16:39 04/07/2014

SlideshowRiverton, Southland

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A young Winton couple was forced to flee their home when a fire ripped through it this evening.

A neighbour of the Queen St property said the owners came running over as the fire took hold.

"They told us their house was on fire," the neighbour said.

"It is a terrible thing to happen. Everybody knows their neighbours in Winton."

The neighbour said fire crews we quick to respond to the fire and battled the blaze.

The house was a brick and roughcast building so was solid and still standing. But the inside was badly smoke and water damaged, the neighbour said.  

A fire communications spokeswoman said two Winton fire crews responded to a call from the property about 7.20pm.

The house was well ablaze when they arrived at the scene, she said.

The cause of the fire was being investigated.

RIVERTON FIRE

A house fire in the Southland town of Riverton with flames big enough to be seen blocks away has been brought under control. 

Fire southern communications shift manager Andrew Norris said the Riverton Fire Station responded to a house fire on the corner of John and Bates streets about 3.30 this afternoon. 

They quickly called in reinforcements from Colac Bay, Wallacetown, Thornbury, and Otautau because they could see the flames from the station, which was "some distance away". 

The fire has now been contained to one bedroom and is under control. 

Southern area commander Julian Tohiariki was on his way to the site. 

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- The Southland Times

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