North Shore Times : February 18th 2014
4 NORTH SHORE TIMES, FEBRUARY 18, 2014 NEWS www.northshoretimes.co.nz Lucky escape after fire rips through flats By MARYKE PENMAN Tenants scrambled to rescue each other when their block of flats went up in flames on Sunday night. Fire broke out in a Housing NZ flat on the ground level of eight adjoining apartments in Waratah St, Birkenhead, at around 11pm. Birkenhead fire station officer Grant Mitcheson says the tenant of the one-bedroom home was with a friend in a neighbouring flat when the smoke alarm went off. She and the other residents went outside to investigate and found the entire downstairs area engulfed in fire and smoke, he says. A neighbouring tenant says they rushed to make sure everyone had evacuated their flats before calling for help. ‘‘It has really shaken me because I was running around trying to make sure everybody was all right when the windows blew. I realised if it had been a split second later the glass would’ve sprayed right into me.’’ The glass windows of both the upstairs and downstairs apartments have blown out and the metal framing is warped from the heat. A woman living in the flat next to the fire was fast asleep when the blaze began. ‘‘We were banging on her door trying to wake her up but she didn’t hear us,’’ the neighbour says. Fellow tenants had to smash the front window to get her out. Mr Mitcheson says the entire ground level flat is burnt out and Fire spread: An aggressive fire that started on the bottom level in a block of flats quickly spread upstairs and blew out windows. Unrecognisable: The living room of this one bedroom flat in Birkenhead has been destroyed by fire. Photos:MARYKEPENMAN Sewing machine, left: The heat produced from a house fire was so intense it melted glass and warped metal. Offers valid from Mon 17th February - Sun 23rd February. All stores are open 7am-7pm. www.madbutcher.co.nz Premium Beef Mince HALF $7.99 HALF PRICE 39 GREAT STORES NATIONWIDE & MORE OPENING SOON! All Carcass Beef and Lamb is supplied by Affco and is New Zealand Quality Mark Certifi ed. 50 Greville Rd, ALBANY PH 475 5355 16 Wainui Rd, SILVERDALE PH 426 9540 2 Porana Rd, GLENFIELD PH 444 8175 23 Ocean View Rd, NORTHCOTE PH 419 2650 PRICE this week only! This week ONLY this week only! All Mad Butcher Stores are NZ owned and operated by locals in Your Community! PER KILO the upstairs residence has around 20 per cent damage. A fire safety investigator arrived to conduct a scene examination yesterday but says he is yet to determine a cause. The smoke alarm in the upstairs flat was still beeping almost 12 hours after it was first set off. Mr Mitcheson says four engines arrived at the scene after receiving multiple calls and reports of people trapped. He says everyone got out safely and there were no injuries.
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