Ten-year-old boy dies following 'suspicious' Hastings building blaze
A 10-year-old boy injured in a building fire in Hastings on Monday afternoon has died.
The young boy, who was one of two injured in the blaze, died in Hawke's Bay Hospital early Tuesday morning, police confirmed.
A nine-year-old remained in a stable condition in a children's ward.
Five men, thought to have headed into the blaze to help the boys, were taken to hospital with smoke inhalation, but were treated and discharged.
The fire broke out about 2.30pm on Monday in a disused garage near the corner of Heretaunga St West and Allerton St, behind the Storty Bar, which was also hit by fire in 2016.
Police said on Monday night that they were still investigating the cause of the fire, which was considered suspicious "at this stage". A scene examination was underway.
The Fire Service said one person had been taken from the scene by paramedics with serious burns.
Fire Service assistant area commander Nigel Hall said it was thought the men saw the fire from next door, and either rescued or were very close to the children when they came out.
Hall said the actions of the men who went into the building might have seemed heroic, but the Fire Service did not recommend people go into burning buildings.
Instead it advised that they stay out, and let firefighters, with their breathing apparatus and protective clothing, do the necessary rescues.
The burning building was an old garage that had been empty for 18 months. Hall had spoken to the owner, who said he had emptied it of any hazardous material.
It suffered a "fair bit of damage", but had been due for demolition.
Seven fire engines and four support vehicles battled the blaze, which was put out around 4pm on Monday.
Police said they wanted to hear from anyone who witnessed unusual activity near the building before the fire.
Information should be provided to Hastings police station on 06 873 0500, or information could be provided anonymously to Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.