Burns victim in hospital
‘‘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.