Teen saves three children from fire
Driven by a memory
As a 15-year-old Porirua boy ran towards a burning house in Cannons Creek, all he could think about was his little sister, who died in a house fire seven years ago.
When he got to the two-storey house in Durham St, Kioa LatuFutialo saw a man hanging out of a top-floor window, ready to drop his children on to bags of leaves at the bottom.
Instead, Kioa ran over, caught each of the three children one by one, before getting help to catch the older man, who was about to jump to save himself.
The fire, on the night of Monday, June 8, brought back memories for Kioa of his sister, who died in their family home while he was at school.
Kioa’s mother, Christina LatuFagasoaia, believed he ran to help the three children in Durham St because he knew he could make a difference and save them. She hailed her son as a hero.
‘‘Kioa was in his room, then next thing I know he is calling me from outside. I tried to stop him from running towards the house, but he wouldn’t stop,’’ she said.
‘‘I followed him and could see a man hanging out the window about to drop some kids. Kioa caught the first kid, then the sec- ond, and the third before another man came from across the road to help catch the old man.’’
The top floor was engulfed in flames, but that did not matter to Kioa, she said.
‘‘He is very brave. For myself, I was dead frozen, but he wasn’t. He is a hero . . .[but] then it could have been anyone else too, had they been on the scene before us.’’
She and Kioa waited with the rescued family until the ambulance and fire services arrived. ‘‘We were just glad no-one was hurt in the fire.’’
That is something she can’t say about the fire at her home in 2008. ‘‘I got three of my children out, but I couldn’t get the fourth . . . I still live with that every day of my life.
‘‘I think he [Kioa] did what he did because that’s what he would have done if he was home on the day of our house fire.’’
Latu-Fagasoaia said they had not heard from the family after they left the scene late on Monday night. The cause was unknown.
Porirua teen Kioa Latu-Futialo stands in front of the windows he caught children from when the house was ablaze.
– Christina Latu-Fagasoaia