Fire guts Tamahere home

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Two Hamilton firefighters suffered burns battling a house fire at Tamahere yesterday morning.

Ambulance officers tend to Hamilton firefighters Angela Munro, sitting at left, and Roan Gouws after they suffered burns battling a Tamahere house fire
Ambulance officers tend to Hamilton firefighters Angela Munro, sitting at left, and Roan Gouws after they suffered burns battling a Tamahere house fire

Senior firefighters Angela Munro and Roan Gouws received burns to their hands and ears while fighting the blaze which gutted a house in Parklea Dr, off Newell Rd, reported the Waikato Times.

Mr Gouws also had burns to his head, and while the Waikato Times was at the fire a strip of blisters had already emerged down the side of his face.

Waikato area fire manager Roy Breeze said the home’s brick structure intensified the heat of the fire which was in “full term” when they arrived.

The house is owned by Hamilton accountants Keith and Sue Robertson but rented by a middle-aged man, his pre-teen son and a female.

Mr and Mrs Robertson and the tenants stood by consoling each other as firefighters fought the fire.

The tenants were not home when the fire started.

Mrs Robertson said she was still in shock about the blaze but was concerned only for the safety of her tenants.

Neighbours Carolyn and Mark Green spotted the fire after hearing a bang and seeing smoke billowing across their paddock.

Mrs Green said as her husband sprinted across to make sure nobody was home, she called emergency services. While in the house Mr Green managed to save a few items, including a children’s four-wheel motorbike, golf clubs, a freezer and a dog. It’s understood the tenants were not insured.

Hamilton senior fire safety officer Dave Jenkins said yesterday the fire was not suspicious but he was doubtful about pinpointing an exact cause because of the extent of the damage.

This morning he confirmed the fire started in a bedroom and where an electric blanket was left on.

Boxes of documents in an upstairs office would also have contributed to the intensity of the fire, he said.

Mr Breeze said Ms Munro was back at work last night. Due to Mr Gouws’ facial injuries he was unable to wear breathing apparatus so was expected to be off for the next few days.

(Waikato Times photo by Tammy McCloughen)

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