Boy who died in fire tragedy named

The Hastings Mail - - FRONT PAGE - STAFF RE­PORTER

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.

LAURA DOONEY/STUFF

The boy died from in­juries he suf­fered when a build­ing caught fire in Hast­ings on Mon­day last week.

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