An unemployed single mother and grandmother has lost many priceless family items after a fire broke out in her bedroom.

The fire broke out in Genevieve Belton's bedroom at her Birkenhead home in the early hours of June 30, 2020.

Belton woke up at 4.30am and went downstairs. When returning to her bedroom, Belton said she "looked back at the bottom of the stairs and saw smoke".

Genevieve Belton lost many personal items when a fire broke out in her bedroom on June 30. Photo / Alex Burton
Genevieve Belton lost many personal items when a fire broke out in her bedroom on June 30. Photo / Alex Burton

Belton escaped through the front door and her daughter and friend sleeping on the second floor escaped through the bedroom's deck and climbed down a tree. Her son's friend who was asleep on the couch escaped the burning building by jumping off a deck on the second floor.


A fire communications spokesman said crews arrived at the Auckland home at 4.54am with three fire trucks.

Belton's 19-year-old daughter called emergency service saying "send them all".

Everyone inside and the family pets escaped the burning house uninjured.

Belton lost many personal items including her dead sister's clothing and photos of her parents with boxing legends Mike Tyson, Don King, Marvin Hagler and Muhammad Ali.

Belton is the daughter of well-known boxing official Douglas Carrick Belton, a former president of the Commonwealth Boxing Council and president of the New Zealand Professional Boxing Association.

In a photo of Ali and Belton's parents she says a fragile Ali was "sitting on a big king's throne".

Fortunately Belton still has her sister's dressing gown, as that was all she was wearing at the time of the fire. Belton's sister died late last year.

Belton believes her dog knocked over a candle which was lit on her dressing table.


When Belton was younger she knew of a young girl who had died in a house fire due to a candle, she says this is the reason she "never had a candle in my life".

However, Belton has lit a candle in her bedroom to "cleanse the room". After spending the day hanging up the clothes of her deceased sister.

Belton has made attempts to get house insurance however, the countrywide Covid-19 lockdown has made the task difficult.

When Belton returned to the house to see if she could save any items she says "my leg went through the floor" when she was searching her bedroom on the second floor of the house.

Since the house fire Belton has received many food parcels and other donations from members of the public.