Man takes to roof to es­cape blaze

Taranaki Daily News - - News -

A 20-year-old man es­caped a fire in his home by climb­ing out a win­dow and onto the roof.

Down­stairs, his care­giver and a 20-month-old baby also man­aged to es­cape un­harmed.

Christchurch fire­fight­ers say the Satur­day in­ci­dent could have eas­ily been a mul­ti­ple fa­tal­ity.

The fire, which broke out shortly be­fore 8am on Wood­bury St, Avon­head, was ‘‘well in­volved’’ when fire­fight­ers ar­rived.

Fire safety of­fi­cer Kelvin Hamp­ton said it ap­peared the fire was ac­ci­den­tal but stressed the im­por­tance of hav­ing smoke alarms in the home.

All three oc­cu­pants were taken to hospi­tal to be treated for smoke in­hala­tion.

Hamp­ton said the man awoke in his bed­room and opened the door to see smoke and fire pour­ing through the hall­way.

He could not see through the smoke, Hamp­ton said.

The man quickly shut the door and man­aged to es­cape out the win­dow, across the roof of the house and to the safety of a neigh­bour­ing property.

‘‘Clos­ing the door quickly saved his life. It gave him a bit of ex­tra time to get out. We could have been deal­ing with a mul­ti­ple fa­tal­ity to­day,’’ Hamp­ton said.

When fire­fight­ers were called not all mem­bers of the house­hold were ac­counted for.

The fire spread from the ground floor to the first floor, but Hamp­ton did not want to spec­u­late what caused it be­fore all in­ves­ti­ga­tions were com­plete.

The 20-month-old

child and the care­giver also had a door closed to the lounge they were in which gave them time to es­cape.

Hamp­ton said 80 per cent of people who die in res­i­den­tial house­holds were in homes that did not an ac­tive smoke alarm. Fire­fight­ers would in­stall smoke alarms for free if they had been pur­chased by the house­hold, he said.

Photo: FAIR­FAX NZ

Aftermath: The house fire at Wood­bury St, Christchurch caused ex­ten­sive dam­age but the oc­cu­pants sur­vived.

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