A Tauranga couple found the speed of a Maungatapu house fire they witnessed through their kitchen window “absolutely chilling”.
Phil and Chontelle Strang were at home at about 6.45pm on Saturday when they saw the smoke.
“I came out and looked across the estuary from my kitchen window,” Chontelle told the Bay of Plenty Times.
“She spotted the smoke and flames,” Phil said. “We could see a lot of flames and immediately we started to hear sirens.”
Phil said it was “amazing” to see how fast the fire took hold.
“Three or four minutes and it was all go,” Phil said.
“All the things you hear about fires and about getting out and staying out, it’s for real.
“When you see something like that in real life it’s absolutely chilling.”
Phil said the incident brought home the speed with which a fire can take hold and how important it was to have a plan to evacuate.
Fire and Emergency (Fenz) crews from Tauranga and Greerton were alerted to the fire around 6.37pm, a Fenz media spokesperson said.
“The fire was on the first floor of a two-story building and all persons were accounted for. The fire was extinguished about 7.35pm.
“The investigation is complete, and the matter has been passed to police.”
“On our arrival, we found a well-involved house fire,” they said.
The spokesperson said three fire trucks attended the incident and there was no one in the house.