An Ashburton couple are mourning the loss of their cat and
their ruined home after a fire began in their bedroom
No one was home when smoke was seen billowing through the
eves and guttering of their house about 12pm yesterday by
nearby resident Bev Johnson.
"I was walking home from town and thought the smoke was way
too low to be coming out of a chimney before I realised the
house was on fire," she said.
"I was trying to wave down traffic for at least two minutes
before a lady pulled over and we called 111."
Three fire engines rushed to the scene to find the couple's
cat trapped inside the extensively smoke damaged home, caused
by a fire found near the door of a bedroom.
Ashburton Volunteer Fire Brigade deputy chief fire officer
Graeme Baker said firefighters entered through a sliding door
with breathing apparatus on before extinguishing the fire.
The cat was brought outside by a firefighter and looked after
by St John ambulance staff. The cat died soon after.
Mr Baker said it was too soon to say what caused the blaze.
"It's an unknown what caused it at this stage, we have got
fire investigators from Timaru and the local fire safety
officer down there too. Police are also down there checking
the house out," he said.
The homeowners rushed home from work to find their home
extensively smoke damaged. They were visibly upset, consoled
by friends and neighbours.
"Obviously they are pretty cut up about it, it's not a
pleasant experience so understandably they were upset," Mr
He said they were contacting their insurance company.
Authorities are expected to have a better idea of the cause
- By Myles Hume of the Ashburton Guardian