Appeal starts for Hikurangi family after house fire

By Kristin Edge

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A Northland family has lost all their possessions after a blaze believed to have started in a clothes drier quickly spread.

The alarm was raised at 9.30pm last night and it took the first crew from Hikurangi fire brigade just seven minutes to arrive at the house in Boundary Rd, Hikurangi.

Hikurangi fire brigade deputy Trevor Gallagher was in the first crew to arrive and on seeing flames leaping from the roof and both sides of the house a call for more help was made.

Crews from Kamo and Whangarei arrived along with a Hikurangi water tanker.

"There were two crews inside and another two crews fighting the blaze from the outside," Mr Gallagher said.

A Hikurangi crew were called back to the house about 11.30am today after smoke swirled from the roof indicating a hotspot.

Fire investigator Gary Beer said it appeared the fire had started in drier but parts of the machine were to be sent away for testing. The concern was no working smoke alarms were in the house.

"If they had been installed they would have had an earlier warning. It's very lucky that they hadn't gone to sleep or else they could have been overcome by smoke.

News of the family's tragedy has sparked a public appeal organised by Whangarei business Melville and Ellis on Vine St. They will accept any items from lounges to clothing for the family. Items the family are unable to use will be given to The Salvation Army. Melville and Ellis are open from 8.30am to 5pm on weekdays.

For the full story see tomorrow's Northern Advocate.

- Northern Advocate

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