A house in south Auckland has been destroyed by a fire
started by a child playing with a cigarette lighter under a
Papatoetoe Fire Station Senior Station Officer Terry Jenner
said there were multiple calls about the blaze in Otahuhu
Mr Jenner said the family who lived in the house were alerted
by an 8-year-old boy who yelled 'fire, fire, fire'.
"The mother came outside and one of the daughters was not
accounted for so the mother went back inside to try and find
the daughter, was a little bit overcome by the smoke and
managed to get out again.
"The unfortunate thing was the daughter had been outside the
whole time but had not gone to what we call the safe meeting
place, which in this case would have been the letterbox."
When firefighters arrived at the house on Clements St, the
single storey home was engulfed in smoke and flames.
The four children were uninjured, while their mother suffered
smoke inhalation and was treated by ambulance paramedics at
Mr Jenner said it was unclear whether there were smoke alarms
because "every ceiling in the house is down on the floor".
Police said the incident highlighted the importance of
ensuring matches and lighters were always kept out of reach