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CEILING FIRE: House saved from ruin by driver

An eagle-eyed driver on Upper Plain Rd has saved a house from potential ruin after noticing smoke spilling from the roof.

Masterton Fire Brigade arrived to the piercing shriek of a fire alarm and found a blaze inside the house’s ceiling shortly after 11am yesterday.

Station officer Murray Pike said crews arrived to discover the ceiling space “fully involved in fire”.

However, it was quickly brought under control and contained to the area of origin, with Masterton’s career crew backed up by three of the region’s volunteer trucks. Pike said the firefighters worked to extinguish the flames successfully and stayed to ensure the fire was not going to reignite in the following hours. Along with “supporting the occupant with post-fire information … we use various techniques to investigate and hunt out areas of concern, which takes time after the fire,” Pike said.

Although not at the property when the fire ignited, the homeowner – who the Times-Age agreed not to name – was on the scene promptly. They said they had only bought the property five months ago.

“It’s daunting. I’m not crying now, but I was.”

They also expressed their gratitude to the firefighters who had leapt into action, noting the outcome could have been “100 times worse”.

Three hours later, the air still smelt of smoke, with damage seemingly confined to the ceiling.

Although no one was home at the time, Pike emphasised the importance of working smoke alarms.

“It’s a really important reminder, with recent nationwide events, of how working smoke alarms can protect you in the event of a fire,” Pike said.

The cause of the fire is not thought to be suspicious, and an investigation is ongoing.

Bella Cleary
Bella Cleary
Bella Cleary is a reporter at the Wairarapa Times-Age, originally hailing from Wellington. She is interested in social issues and writes about the local arts and culture scene.

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