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Saved by the siren

The charred remains of the Kuripuni house in the early hours of Friday. PHOTOS/SUPPLIED

Family escapes inferno thanks to smoke alarm

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Fire and Emergency needed more than five trucks to bring down a fire that ravaged a house in Masterton early Friday morning.

Fire and Emergency first responded to the house fire on Millard Ave, Kuripuni, at 1.30am.

Multiple brigades from Masterton, Carterton, and Greytown attended the house fire which took more than one and a half hours to extinguish.

The family exited the house through their front door before the house was engulfed in flames.

A Fire and Emergency spokesperson said there were no reported injuries.

Masterton station officer Mike Cornford said they arrived at the house to find the back half of it well alight and the four occupants standing outside wrapped in blankets.

“When we got there, the house was up in flames and heavily smoke-logged, but the smoke alarms were going off, which was good in hindsight with the family already out of the house.”

The fire-ravaged house in Kuripuni.

Three-quarters of the house ended up severely damaged by the fire while the rest was heavily smoke damaged.

“They’ve lost about everything.”

Cornford said the fire took longer to put out than usual due to the house’s tough internal claddings and false ceilings and cavities.

“It was a difficult fire to put out because it was an older type of villa that had solid sarking walls and solid sarking ceilings,” he said.

“Gaining access into the walls and the ceilings, in particular, was really difficult, so it took a lot longer to put out than what it takes to put a fire out in a traditional style house.”

The Masterton and Carterton brigades left the property at 4.30am to recommission their trucks, while the Greytown brigade remained for the next two hours to make sure the fire was extinguished and check for hot spots.

Cornford said the fire was a timely reminder for people to check their smoke alarms were active because they could be the difference between getting out of a fire, such as this one, safely.

“When we arrived, the smoke alarms were going off in the house, which was a really important factor because the family were able to exit the house easily,” he said.

“People need to regularly check their smoke alarms are working as they make a huge difference, especially in these kinds of hours when people are well asleep.”

The cause of the fire was yet to be determined with Fire and Emergency investigating, although it was understood to be an electrical fault.

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