Police attempting to arrest a
woman in Hokio Beach, near Levin, ended up trying to rescue
the woman from a burning home.
The incident began at 7.45am after police officers arrived at
the 40-year-old woman's house with a warrant to arrest her.
Police allege she refused to let officers in and only spoke
to them from behind a closed door.
While police tried to talk to the woman she is alleged to
have gone into another room and have started a fire.
Police saw the fire spreading quickly, and believing the
woman was still inside, the two officers went in to get the
woman out. The house quickly filled with smoke and they
failed to find her. They were forced to leave the house for
air before re-entering with another man who was passing at
The searchers battled intense heat and smoke and only gave up
when the roof began collapsing.
The officers and the member of the public retreated from the
building as the volunteer fire brigade arrived.
A search of the property later found the woman hiding in some
bushes nearby. She is thought to have escaped out the back
She was arrested and is now awaiting an assessment.
Sergeant Martin Bull of the Levin police said it was an
extremely brave act by both staff and the member of the
public to put their own safety at risk to enter the burning
building to search for the woman.
- By Peter Franklin of
the Horowhenua Chronicle