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Pets killed in house fire

The interior of the house on Te Ore Ore Bideford Rd was extensively damaged. PHOTO/JAKE BELESKI

By Jake Beleski

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A Masterton father and daughter who wanted a “fresh start” have lost their home — and four cats — after a house fire on Friday night.

Michael Mark and his daughter Danni were not at the house they rent on Te Ore Ore Bideford Rd when the fire broke out, but when Mr Mark returned to the house at about 11.30pm, it was already ablaze.

Four of their five cats were killed in the fire, and nearly all of their possessions damaged or destroyed.

“The main crux of the fire was in the kitchen, washhouse, dining room and lounge,” Mr Mark said.

“Everything was gone and anything that wasn’t burnt has smoke or water damage.”

The pair moved into the house about four months ago to “start a new life for ourselves in a smaller home”, and were now facing the reality of not knowing where to go next, he said.

Both have been staying with friends since the fire, and the support from the community had been “overwhelming”, Mr Mark said.

“It’s not easy . . . I’ve got a couple of nieces who started a Givealittle page and the support is unbelievable from the community . . . it’s truly amazing.

“I broke down [on Saturday] — I was really, really emotional at all the support.”

Mr Mark said he was in “panic mode” when he got home and saw the house on fire, but was thankful the fire brigade had turned up quickly.

The one consolation that kept him positive was that neither himself nor his daughter were hurt in the event, he said.

“My daughter and I are living apart at the moment, which is hard in itself, but the fact we’re both ok is what keeps me positive about it all.

“I am trying to stay strong through the whole thing, and the support I’ve had from even people I don’t know is amazing.”

The hardest part was working out what to do next, but Mr Mark was sure they would “be alright”.

“We just wanted a fresh start, and this is just a bad way of having an opportunity for another fresh start, I suppose.”

Masterton fire station officer Mike Cornford said the house was “extensively damaged”, and they were still working to determine the cause of the fire.

“We did an investigation on it [on Saturday], and we couldn’t determine the cause at that stage, but fire investigators determined there was nothing suspicious in the fire.

“We’ve got some ideas but are still working through those.”

Two appliances from Masterton and two from Carterton — including a water tanker — attended the blaze, Mr Cornford said.

Despite their best efforts, it had taken “a couple of hours to tidy up”, and the house was “probably beyond repair”.


  1. hi is there someone in masterton that would konw my dad micheal neil blundell? he is a farmer. i have not seen him for 21 years. i would love to see him again. my phone number is 0273539032. james blundell.

  2. So sorry to hear Mike is a real gentleman he rented our hime in Carterton and did heaps of work on it for us so can highly recomend him as a tennant.
    Sad about his cats.

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