Firefighters battle blaze at RSE workers' home in Marlborough
Seasonal workers ran back into their burning home to retrieve passports and luggage after a fire broke out on Thursday night.
Firefighters battled a blaze in the home of Recognised Seasonal Employer (RSE) workers in the small town of Seddon in Marlborough about 10pm on Thursday.
Seddon Volunteer Fire Brigade senior station officer Rebecca Stevens could not say how many people were inside the Renwick St home when the fire started in the roof.
The workers evacuated outside but some returned to retrieve their possessions, she said.
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"It's a bad idea to go back inside when there is a ceiling fire because it can collapse," she said.
"But I understand, that would have been their whole life in there."
Stevens said the likely cause of the fire was because the flue of the chimney was resting against corrugated iron. She believed the iron heated up and set fire to the wooden frame of the home.
Smoke billowed from the eaves but the fire was contained to the roof, she said.
Volunteer firefighters from Ward and Blenheim were also at the scene.
Blenheim firefighters used a thermal imagery camera to ensure the fire was completely extinguished, Stevens said.
"It paid to get them out there and make sure we got all the hotspots."
No-one was injured in the incident.
The Seddon brigade provided information sessions to RSE workers and their employers to teach fire safety.
Nonetheless, Thursday's emergency had caught the workers off-guard, Stevens said.
"It was a bit of a shock for them," she said.
There were smoke alarms in the home but they did not activate as the fire was contained to the roof space, Stevens said.
Stevens had clear advice for anyone in a fire emergency: "If there's any sign of fire, ring 111 and get out."
- The Marlborough Express