Nearly game, set and match after fire

By Corey Charlton

Aera Kani's peaceful Sunday morning turned to panic when she got up early and lit the fire to watch the Andy Murray-Marcos Baghdatis Wimbledon tennis match, only for a chimney fire to break out as she was boiling the jug.

The Clive resident said she got up and lit the fire before going to make a coffee, ready to settle for the tennis match about 6am, when she heard a crackling noise. When she looked in the lounge, she saw flames.

"I went outside and looked up at my chimney, and the chimney was up in flames as well, then I panicked and rang 111," she said. "For all I know it could have been just smouldering all through the night, or the last couple of days."

As well as burning parts of the ceiling, insulation also caught fire. She threw water on the fire box itself, but the ceiling flames were out of her reach.

"There was no way I would have been able to get up there, and I think that's when I panicked."

Fortunately fire trucks from Haumoana and Hastings arrived along with water tankers within minutes of her emergency call, she said.

No smoke went through the house, and so smoke alarms were not triggered.

She said it was "very scary", and a close call.

"I suppose anybody that has had their house on fire would think that. It could have been worse, but thank goodness it wasn't."

She also managed to get her tennis fix with a trip to her uncle's house in Haumoana later that morning.

"I got to watch the match, the replay, at my uncle's house," she said. "It was an outstanding game, and Andy Murray won."

- Hawkes Bay Today

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