Fire destroys Whatawhata garage and cars

CHRIS GARDNER
Last updated 18:11 23/09/2012
CHRIS HILLOCK

A young Whatawhata couple owe their neighbours their lives after fire leapt through their garage.

Lockerbie Lane, Whatawhata
CHRIS HILLOCK/Fairfax NZ
BURNING TYRES: The fire quickly burnt out of control.

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A young Whatawhata couple owe their neighbours their lives after fire leapt through their garage, with flames licking their home.

The couple were woken from their sleep shortly after 10am yesterday by their neighbours who saw plumes of black smoke coming the garage attached to their modest Lockerbie Lane home.

Senior Station Officer Daryl Trim, from Hamilton Central Fire Station, said the small home was not equipped with smoke detectors.

‘‘Thanks to the neighbours they got out,’’ Mr Trim said. ‘‘No one was injured. The fire was getting into the house. We tried to cut it off and stop it continuing into the house.’’

Another neighbour, Eric Redfern, was watching a movie when he smelled smoke and then saw a black plume.

‘‘I thought someone was burning tyres,’’ he said. ‘‘I then saw all this black smoke coming from the garage. We saw the young lad who lives there putting a little hose pipe on it, but it quickly got out of hand.’’

Firefighters used his water supply to extinguish the blaze.

Mr Redfern knew little of the family because they were at work during the day.

The couple did not want to be interviewed but said, through Mr Trim, that they were grateful to their neighbours for their help.

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