Fire close call for family

A family-of-four woke and dialled 111 just in time to save their house after the attached double garage went up in flames.

The Waihi Volunteer Fire Brigade responded to the emergency in Heard Rd, Waihi, shortly before midnight on Thursday and chief fire officer, Moe Stevens, said the family's home was about to catch fire when they arrived.

A man, woman and their two grown sons were in the house when the fire broke out.

"The occupants woke up and the house was full of smoke and it was starting to go," Stevens said.

"We had difficulty getting into the garage because the roller doors were electric and they were buggered."

Eventually firefighters tore the door off and managed to contain the fire.

Stevens said he suspected the fire may have started in a meter box but a fire investigator would examine the scene to find out the exact cause.

Meanwhile, Waikato police were alarmed to nab at least 10 drunk drivers within a 24 hour period on Thursday, including a middle-aged man who blew more than twice the legal limit of 400 micrograms per litre of breath in Huntly at 10.30am.

"He tells us he's been up all night watching the boxing in the Commonwealth Games," Senior Sergeant Rupert Friend said.

"And he went to town to get a feed and they were on their way home having had a feed. The concern is that people think they can drive the next morning and it's a sharp reminder that even after a couple of hours sleep, alcohol is still in the system and people are still a danger on the roads. People should allow their systems to clear the alcohol before driving, then the roads will be safer."

A 47-year-old was also caught driving at 154kmh on State Highway 2 at 6pm on Thursday. A concerned motorist reported the driver to police.

Friend said the incident was worrying, not only because of the high speed, but because it was at one of the busiest times of the day. "It's a recipe for disaster at that speed and it's going to be a hell of a mess when it happens."

Waikato Times