Arriving at a house fire that left a family of seven with just the clothes on their backs, Acting Sergeant Dean Henderson knew he and his team had to help.

As the "devastated" family looked on at what was now a charred shell and rubble of a home on Swanson Rd, Ranui, last weekend, emergency services raced to the scene.

One of those to attend, was Henderson, who is based out of the North Shore, Rodney and West Auckland police station in the North Shore.

"When I attended the house was completely demolished. Whatever was inside couldn't be saved. However, lucky for us and the family they were able to escape with the clothes on their backs."


As time went on, Henderson tasked staff to help the family get in touch with various agencies to re-home them and get support.

One of the first organisations Henderson came across was Give A Kid A Blanket, which gathers blankets and other winter warmers to then pass on to children and families in need.

"They'd packed up a variety of items for the family, food and some colouring books for the children as it was the school holidays."

He then contacted Care Waitakere who had packed up a donation of food and other clothing items and, together with the blankets, dropped them off to the affected family with his two colleagues, Constables Dan Sutton and Roya Shields.

A family with six children were sadly left with nothing following a house fire in Ranui earlier this month. 🏠 Our staff...

Posted by North Shore, Rodney & West Auckland Police on Wednesday, 17 July 2019

However, their efforts didn't end there.

One staff member donated clothing from her own wardrobe, while Henderson got in touch with a local real estate agent about any rentals they might have on offer, which they did.

"I've had contact with the mother this morning, and they move into their fully furnished home this weekend.

"So it's pretty basic but there was a lot of work that we were doing out of work time to try and help these people, and they were very grateful for the work that everyone has been doing for them."


He said while the family were initially devastated, they had been floored by the generosity of the community.

"They were devastated that they had lost everything but I guess they've had a silver lining and people have come through and helped them out and got them back on their feet."

Henderson said the family were now equipped with all the basics to live in their new home.

"I've been texting with the family every day and the mother is just overwhelmed and happy."

For him and his team going the extra length for people was part of the job.

"For us it's for the family, so we're only trying to do as much as we can to get these guys back on their feet but we would want the same to happen to us, hopefully.

"And we're just trying to live up to our police values as well and do the best we can for everyone in our community."