Heater fire damages house

20:32, Sep 02 2013
Tweed St fire
LUCKY: James Tipuna stands outside his house in Tweed St, where a fire broke out early yesterday after a dressing gown was dropped on a heater.

A woman was dragged from her house by her hair after a fire broke out in her Tweed St property.

The fire service was called to the house about 12.40 yesterday morning after reports of a "small fire".

However, senior station officer Colin Russell said the fire was only minutes from engulfing the whole house and the occupants were lucky to only suffer from smoke inhalation.

James Tipuna, who lives at the house, said the fire started after the woman took her dressing gown off and dropped it onto a fan heater.

"She had put the heater on but she threw her dressing gown on it and it caught the whole room on fire."

The woman then had to be dragged by her hair onto the front lawn by another flatmate, Mr Tipuna said. She was unconscious for a short period, but woke up shortly after being dragged outside.


"It got the old adrenaline pumping."

The damage was largely contained to the bedroom.

Mr Russell said three fire engines attended the call and firefighters had the blaze under control quickly, stopping it from spreading through the floor and destroying the whole house.

The three crews, two from Invercargill and one from Kingswell, arrived to find the occupants of the house on the lawn and called an ambulance to treat two residents suffering from smoke inhalation.

Mr Russell said the fire was a reminder that people needed to keep their clothing away from heaters and apply the "metre from the heater" rule.

The Southland Times