Fire frightens neighbours
A house fire in Blockhouse Bay could have been worse if it wasn’t for the efforts of some fast acting neighbours.
Firefighters were alerted to the blaze on Trinidad Rd at 10.42am on Thursday.
The rear of the single storey house was well involved when two units arrived. It took about 10 minutes to control the fire, Avondale senior station officer Gary Lane says.
‘‘We contained the burning to one bedroom. However, there was extensive heat damage. It was just fortunate that no one was home.’’
Angela Chandra was next door when her house guest spotted the smoke billowing over the roof of the neighbouring property.
She rang emergency services and her husband Anil, who rushed home to help.
He grabbed his garden hose and pointed it over the fence.
‘‘I was shocked. The fire was spreading towards my house and there was no way I was going to let it come here,’’ he says.
Another neighbour Jessie Phillips, 20, was in her backyard when she spotted the smoke. She too dialled 111 and her father ran next door to check no-one was inside.
‘‘While we were waiting for the fire engines it got worse. I heard the windows smashing and I could see the flames actually coming out of the windows.’’
Then they noticed that the neighbour’s pet rottweiler was in the back garden. ‘‘It barks at everything but it wasn’t barking. It was just sitting there and it wouldn’t move so my dad had to go and bring it to our side.’’
The fire was a terrifying experience, she says.
‘‘I was in Christchurch when they had the first earthquake. This was just as scary because it was so close. It’s right next door. It could easily have spread here.’’
The fire is being treated as suspicious and investigations are ongoing, senior fire investigator Mike McEnaney says.
Go to centralleader.co.nz and click on Latest Edition to watch a video of the fire.