An Auckland teenager living in Australia died in a house fire yesterday morning.
Ridge Hilton, 17, from Shepparton, around 180km north-east of Melbourne, had been left at his home alone for the weekend while his family was on holiday.
Australia's Herald Sun newspaper reported that six other teenagers had been at the house partying when everything went quiet at around 2.30am.
A neighbour who called the Fire Service woke to see a red glow, smoke billowing from the roof of the house, and teenagers standing outside.
Hilton's friends all escaped unharmed, but he was found in his bedroom dead around 4.15am.
Shepparton police were investigating the fire, and said it did not seem suspicious. The fire is thought to have started in a bedroom, and caused significant damage to the house, said the Herald Sun.
Hilton's uncle, Lawrence Horn, said Hilton was a boy filled with excitement, adventure, and dreams.
"I know before Ridge passed away I had a talk with him, I know he had big dreams for his life, and I know he liked rapping," Horn told Shepparton News.
Horn said he hoped Hilton's friends would consider how the event affected the community, and influence them to make wise decisions.
Hilton's close-knit family in New Zealand was shocked, Horn told the Herald Sun.
- © Fairfax NZ News