Katie Holland is the Rotorua Daily Post deputy editor

Family flee house fire in Fordlands

The scene on Wrigley Rd.
The scene on Wrigley Rd.

A Rotorua family has escaped a fire in their home, which is believed to have been caused by a pan of oil on the stove.

The fire at the house on Wrigley Rd, Fordlands, happened about 8pm tonight.

Three fire engines attended the blaze, which gutted the kitchen and lounge of the brick home.

The tenant, who did not want to be named, told the Rotorua Daily Post she was home with her partner and three children at the time.

"My partner called out, he said 'there's something burning'," she said.

She was cooking a lasagne at the time, but didn't think it would be that. However she asked her daughter to check the kitchen.

"She yelled 'Mum there's something burning, it's a fire'.

"So I went in and it was oil in the pan."

Read more:
Update: Reporoa house 'badly damaged' after fire


One of her children had accidentally moved the pan containing oil onto the stove, she said. "It's nobody's fault."

She said there were "full on flames".

"I turned the switch off. Once it hit the wall I knew it was out of control . . it must have been only two minutes."

The family then got out of the house and her partner called the fire brigade.

She was coughing a little from the smoke, but said she and the family were all okay.

The woman said she was able to grab some of the family's possessions but wasn't able to get her 7-year-old daughter's tablet. She said on breaking the news to her daughter, the child replied: "The most important thing is my body."

Rotorua Fire Brigade station officer Tony Kelly said there were no smoke alarms in the house, a rental.

He said the kitchen and lounge were "significantly damaged" but firefighters had managed to save the hallway and all the bedrooms.

"Probably half of the house is pretty well gutted," he said. "It could have been a lot worse."

Firefighters at the scene said it was a good reminder to "keep looking while you're cooking".

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