Fire damages home and destroys garage
An Invercargill family arrived home to find smoke billowing from their property and flames ripping through their garage.
Neighbours crowded along the pavement to watch as firefighters battled the blaze in Edinburgh Cres, Waikiwi, just after 4pm yesterday.
The property's occupants, the McCallum family, were all absent at the time of the fire but their garage was destroyed and parts of their home damaged by the flames.
Isaac McCallum was on his way home from work with his mother, Teresa, when he heard the news.
"We got to the corner [of Edinburgh Cres] and got a phone call saying the house was on fire."
The garage contained a car, a drum kit, a fridge and freezer as well as his brother's bedroom, and all of it was "gone", he said.
The family dog was rescued, but their pet cats were still unaccounted for, Mr McCallum said.
He did not know what had caused the fire, and was unsure where the family would stay last night, as several windows in the house were damaged by the fire.
Mrs McCallum saw the plumes of smoke and thought the nearby Rowena Jackson retirement village had gone up in flames, she said.
Her other son would normally have been in the garage, but yesterday she had sent him to mow lawns, she said.
Fire Service communications southern shift manager Karl Patterson said the cause of the fire was not yet known, but fire investigator Paul Glanville had been notified about the incident.
The Southland Times