Burns vic­tim in hos­pi­tal

Kapi-Mana News - - FRONT PAGE - TOM HUNT

‘‘A wit­ness said the burnt man's body and clothes were "smok­ing".’’

A home­less Porirua man re­mains in in­ten­sive care more than a week af­ter a fire ripped through his makeshift camp.

Po­lice are in­ves­ti­gat­ing the cause of the fire and wanted to speak to wit­nesses, in­clud­ing a ‘‘scruffy’’ man seen walk­ing away from the scene of the fire last Thurs­day.

Fire­fight­ers found the 41-yearold man badly burnt and near death when they put out the fire in trees be­hind Porirua’s North City Plaza.

A wit­ness to the fire said the burnt man’s body and clothes were ‘‘smok­ing’’ when he was dragged out of the pine trees. Fire­fight­ers doused him with water be­fore he was taken away by am­bu­lance, she said.

He was taken to Hutt Hos­pi­tal last Thurs­day then trans­ferred to the burns unit at Auck­land’s Mid­dle­more Hos­pi­tal on Mon­day.

A Mid­dle­more Hos­pi­tal spokes­woman said on Thurs­day - a week af­ter the fire - that the man could not leave in­ten­sive care un­til his breath­ing tube was re­moved.

Po­lice on Fri­day said they were speak­ing to the man, who was in a sta­ble con­di­tion in hos­pi­tal.

They were still try­ing to find a man seen walk­ing north along a grass bank away from the fire. He was de­scribed as Cau­casian, 30-40 years old, with a medium height and build.

He was wear­ing long black pants and a grey puffer jacket, and car­ry­ing a grey or black back­pack.

Wit­nesses de­scribed him as ‘‘scruffy’’ and be­lieved he was also liv­ing rough.

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