Boy who died in fire tragedy named
The boy who died after a fire in an abandoned building in Hastings has been named as 10-year-old Ariki River Baden Mau.
Ariki, from the Hastings suburb of Camberley, died in hospital on Tuesday last week after suffering burns that witnesses say covered him from head to toe.
A second boy suffered badly burnt legs and was recovering in Hutt Hospital, while a third escaped uninjured from the blaze on Heretaunga St on Monday afternoon.
Ariki went to Te Kura Kaupapa Ma¯ori o Nga¯ti Kahungunu ki Heretaunga. His teacher, Peter Kireka, said he was a boy who was friends with everyone.
He was well known in the school, and was good at kapa haka.
It was a big shock when the school found out about his death, Kireka said.
‘‘He had lots of friends at the kura; he had friends that were down in new entrants right up to our high school. He was wellknown.
‘‘He’s going to be greatly missed.’’
There was some comfort knowing the 10-year-old would be with his best friend, who died last school holidays of an asthma attack.
Mario Overeem, works two doors down from the disused garage in St Leonards where the fire broke out, was one of those who helped pour water over Ariki once he was pulled out of the fire.
He saw others go into the building to try and save the boy, and said he saw one man come out ‘‘coughing his lungs out’’.
‘‘He caught his breath and took back off into the building ... maybe 20 seconds later he came out with the kid.’’
Overeem did not know until Ariki was brought out that there had been any children in the shed.
‘‘That guy that came out coughing then ran back in, he’s a hero all right.’’
The investigation into the fire continues.
The boy died from injuries he suffered when a building caught fire in Hastings on Monday last week.