Smoke alarm a ‘saving grace’
A Timaru man says a smoke alarm saved his life after a fire gutted part of a house on Tuesday.
Police are investigating the cause of the fire at a house on Church St, where a 10-month-old baby was inside, sleeping, at the time.
Six people, including the baby, were living in the flat at the time of the blaze on Tuesday morning.
On Wednesday one of the flatmates, Lovedeep Singh, said it was the smoke alarms and screams of the baby’s mother that woke him and saved his life.
Singh was asleep at the time of the fire, and said there were three or four smoke alarms in the house which woke him up.
‘‘The smoke alarms were helpful, it woke me up and screaming, that woke me up, like really, really loud screaming so I got up to see what was happening and saw black.’’
The baby was also asleep two rooms back from the fire, which broke out at the front of the house, he said.
The mother of the baby and another flatmate were outside when they heard an ‘‘explosion’’, which is believed to have come from the woman’s bedroom.
The pair ran back into the house, from the porch, screaming at the others to get outside, Singh said.
‘‘Thank god everyone is safe, you can get the stuff back but you can’t get a life back.’’
He said he and his flatmates were all ‘‘okay’’ but there was ‘‘no clue’’ as to how the fire started.
Singh and his other flatmates were all living at different family and friends houses as they could not live at the property.
The front room was ‘‘quite damaged...all you can see is full black, all the walls are black,’’ Singh said.
The landlord of the house had insurance, he said.
Detective Senior Sergeant Richard Quested, of Timaru, said the smoke alarms in the house were a ‘‘saving grace’’ that alerted the occupants to the fire so they were able to escape.
It was lucky nobody seriously injured, he said.
He said police were working with firefighters to determine the cause of the fire.
It was not unusual for police to assist in determining the cause of a fire, if there were suspicious circumstances, he said.
Police had not determined either way if there were suspicious circumstances surrounding the cause of the fire, he said.
St John South Canterbury territory manager Darryn Grigsby said two people were treated for smoke inhalation, and a third was treated for smoke inhalation and minor burns.
The patients, including the mother and baby, were taken to Timaru Hospital’s Emergency Department to be checked following the fire.
They were discharged from hospital on Tuesday, a South Canterbury District Health Board spokeswoman said. was
Lovedeep Singh at outside the Church St house that caught fire on Tuesday.