House fire in Grace St

06:39, Aug 14 2012
Southland Times photo
Firefighters outside a Grace St house that caught on fire late this afternoon in Invercargill.

An Invercargill house was extensively damaged late this afternoon after a deep fyer caught on fire.

Demi Brightwell was in the Grace St house with her three flatmates and their two cats and two dogs at about 5pm when the fire started.

Crying, she described what happened.

`'We were cooking onion rings and the next thing the deep fat fryer went up in flames,'' she said.

Barefoot and clutching her bag, Ms Brightwell said they ran out of the house as fast as they could as her flatmate called the fire service.

She was not sure if the pets got out but thought she she saw them scatter and from building.


Traci Hoffman's sister Leeana Small lives in the house.

''The fryer went up in flames and they tried to put it out but the next thing they knew, the back wall went up in flames and they fled the house,'' Ms Hoffman said.

She said the four occupants were young people just starting out in life with their first flat.

They ranged in age from 17 to 20-years-old, she said.

''At that age you don't think of content insurance but I am just pleased they all got out safe,'' she said.

Kingswell station officer Graeme Gilroy said firefighters were met with by plumes of thick, black smoke.

''When we arrived the fire was fully involved at the front and rear of the house and we were not sure if the occupants were still inside but we now know they are all accounted for,'' he said.

The fire had caused severe damage throughout the house, he said.

Although the occupants were using a fryer the cause was yet to be determined, he said.

The street was cordoned off for a few hours as the fire service tackled the blaze

The Southland Times