Spreydon house fire victim named

22:40, Jul 24 2012

The woman who died in a Christchurch house fire has been named as Joan Lenora McKenzie.

McKenzie, 81, is believed to have died of smoke inhalation after her Spreydon home caught fire about 10.30pm last Thursday.

She lived alone in a council flat in Clent Ln.

Detective Sergeant Mark Keane said an autopsy was held yesterday and provisional findings indicated she died of smoke inhalation.

The woman's family had been informed and her death would be referred to the coroner, Keane said.

Fire Service assistant area commander Dave Berry said earlier that the blaze, despite being put out within minutes, was "unsurvivable".

Fire-safety officer Mark Thomas said today that the cause of the fire was still being determined, but it was "definitely an accidental cause".

A scene examination had been completed, but investigators were still analysing some of the material taken from the house.

It was unlikely the Fire Service would be able to confirm what started the fire before a coroner's report had been completed, Thomas said.

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