Clothes near fire go up in flames
Family shaken by the fireKIRSTY MCMURRAY
A family with six children escaped from a fire inside their New Plymouth home yesterday.
The fire brigade was called about 1pm to the house in Westown where clothes that were drying near a woodburner had caught alight, senior station officer Ian Drewery said.
"They've had clothes hanging around the fire and it looks as if the kids were probably loading the fire up and it's caught the clothes.
"The mother who was doing ironing in the other room has smelt smoke and come through and thrown the clothes out on to the deck," he said.
Mr Drewery said the fireplace had a good guard to keep the children away from the fire.
"But it looks like they've been reaching through the guard," he said.
The fire did little damage to the house, apart from burning the clothes and scorching the floor near the woodburner.
However, the family was shaken by the fire, Mr Drewery said. "They're pretty distraught."
The family would receive help from the Fire Service's juvenile intervention programme.
"It's just to educate kids about fire, some of them naturally have a fascination with it."
Mr Drewery said drying clothes too near a heat source was the most common way that house fires were started in winter.
"We have a rule, `a metre from the heater' which is a good guide and when you don't adhere to that sometimes this is what happens," he said.
- © Fairfax NZ News
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