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Fire leaves family home in ruins

'We will salvage what we can'

ESTHER ASHBY-COVENTRY
Last updated 05:00 02/06/2014
murray mclenaghan
JOHN BISSET/ Fairfax NZ

DEVASTATION: Murray McClenaghan, left, and his brother Mark look at what is left of Murray’s home after a fire.

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Twenty firefighters took three hours to get a fire in a Timaru family home under control early yesterday.

The Gleniti Rd house was well alight when the fire was reported by neighbours just after midnight. Timaru and Washdyke fires services took another hour to dampen it down once flames were extinguished.

Owners Murray and Maureen McClenaghan were in Christchurch at the time.

They bought the 1926 house 24 years ago and built on to it. Their four children grew up there, along with their friends, who were always welcome to visit and stay.

"It's pretty devastating, especially for the children," Murray McClenaghan said. The interior of the old part of the four-bedroom house was all kauri beams and solid timber.

"We will salvage what we can," he said.

Though he is still coming to terms with what the family has lost such as an old piano that had belonged to his mother, McClenaghan is grateful no-one was hurt.

"At least we're not going to a funeral but it feels like one. Life goes on."

Friends of the family offered help yesterday to secure the remains of the destroyed property as McClenaghan looked on, still in disbelief. He said they will stay with his son for the time being.

Senior station officer Lex Ferguson said in the newer part of the house the fire moved slower as it was held in by insulation meaning it was not obvious to observers until it had taken hold.

The cause of the fire was unknown, and it was being investigated by Fire Safety.

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- The Timaru Herald

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