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Home engulfed in flames

The rapidity with which a fire left a Masterton family homeless is why smoke alarms are vital, firefighters say.

Emergency services responded to a blaze on Kaka St shortly after 6pm on Sunday, and found a Trust House rental “fully involved”.

The fire, which is not being treated as suspicious, spread quickly throughout the house, with flames leaping from the windows and doors when brigades arrived on the scene.

Emergency services said the entire back half of the house was a burnt out shell, with the front half heavily smoke damaged.

The family members who lived there confirmed they had a place to stay that night and said that the most important thing was that everyone was “safe and well”.

They stood on the side of the road next to their neighbours as the Masterton and Carterton brigades tackled the blaze.

Masterton station officer Andy Simpson said the crew was in the midst of responding to a smoke alarm activation when the call to the house fire came in.

“We were already in our gear and in the truck, so that sped up the response time.

“But in the time it took for the phone call to get to us, the whole kitchen, dining room, and lounge were fully involved.

“It developed very quickly. It’s why you need smoke alarms.”

The house reportedly had working smoke alarms, however, nothing was sounding on arrival, Simpson said.

“They assured us there were smoke alarms but whether they were destroyed in the fire by the time we turned up, I don’t know.”

The blaze took close to 20 minutes to be brought under control, but brigades remained until 10pm extinguishing hotspots.

Firefighters received a hosing down upon exiting the house due to the risk of asbestos in the soffits.

Mary Argue
Mary Argue
Mary Argue is a reporter at the Wairarapa Times-Age with an interest in justice and the region’s emergency services, regularly covering Masterton District Court, Fire and Emergency and Police.

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