A young couple who had just moved into a rental house in Balfour have been saved from a fire by alert neighbours.
Southland fire investigator Mike Cahill said the young couple were woken up by neighbours as their house burned.
The fire took hold about 4.20am yesterday.
The lives of the people in the house were certainly saved by the actions of nearby residents, Mr Cahill said.
"Unfortunately, there were no smoke alarms in the house on Kruger St because the residents had just moved in."
The lucky escape reinforced the need for everyone who moved into a new home to make sure there were working smoke alarms, he said.
Investigations were continuing into the fire but it appeared it may have started from an electrical fault in the roof.
The house was severely damaged and would probably not be salvaged, he said.
Balfour and Riversdale fire brigades attended.
- © Fairfax NZ News
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