Steven Salenieks inside the charred remains of his mother's
Cutten St home, which was destroyed by fire early
yesterday. Photo by Gerard O'Brien.
The sole occupant of a newly-renovated Dunedin home
extensively damaged in a fire fled the inferno after she was
woken by a smoke alarm.
Steven Salenieks spent most of yesterday morning salvaging
what he could from his mother's Cutten St, South Dunedin,
''Mum's devastated,'' he told the Otago Daily Times
outside the cordoned-off property.
''She has lost everything. I tried to salvage some photos,
and I have her passport but everything has gone.''
A concerned neighbour of his mother knocked on his door just
after midnight, alerting Mr Salenieks to the fire a few
He found his mother, Christine Moodie (52), receiving
treatment at the scene for smoke inhalation. Four fire
appliances were outside the all-but-destroyed house.
The pair had extensively renovated the corner site property
since she moved in six months ago, and it was ''gutting'' to
see it destroyed by fire.
However, he was thankful his renovation work of the insured
property included smoke alarms, which alerted his mother to
the fire in her bedroom.
East Otago Fire Risk Management Officer Michael Harrison said
the fire was not suspicious, and served as a ''timely
reminder as to the importance of having working smoke alarms
''Once a fire takes hold in a home, they tend to spread very
quickly. Working smoke alarms give occupants the early
warning they need to get out ... safely.''