Woman’s home destroyed
An elderly Kerikeri woman lost almost everything she owned when fire ripped through her home in the early hours of Tuesday morning.
The 88-year-old resident got out and alerted her neighbours, who called 111 at 4.37am. By the time the first Kerikeri Fire Brigade crew arrived 12 minutes later the Ruru Lane house, down a long right-of-way off Inlet Rd, was burning fiercely.
At least four appliances and two tankers responded from Kerikeri, Kawakawa, Paihia and Okaihau.
The woman, a Swiss citizen who moved to Kerikeri in 2000 with her late husband, was unhurt, as was her dog.
Fire safety officer Gary Beer said the fire was not suspicious, and nothing had been left switched on in the kitchen or left in the drier. He suspected an electrical fault in the roof cavity, and was focusing his investigation on that area.
The house and contents were insured.
Firefighters managed to retrieve some of the woman’s personal belongings, and neighbours helped recover more, including framed photos of her children, which were cracked and smokedamaged but still intact.
The resident, whose children live in Switzerland, and her dog are currently staying with neighbours Barry Slabosz and Roslyn Wakefield. Neighbours were quick to offer her clothing, and informed Age Concern.
The Ruru Lane house was damaged extensively in the early morning blaze.