Another Dunedin fire probe

A fire in a Dunedin rental property with no working smoke alarms has sparked a national investigation.

It is the second such blaze in a rental in the city to yield an investigation this year.

Three fire appliances were deployed to battle the fire last Wednesday morning in the upstairs Stafford St flat.

It was believed to have been started by a candle left burning on a corner table in the lounge. There were no working smoke alarms in the house.

A young woman, the sole occupant of the flat at the time, managed to escape with her pet rabbit after being woken by her cellphone alarm.

She was taken to Dunedin Hospital and treated for smoke inhalation.

Fire and Emergency New Zealand fire-risk management officer Mark Bredenbeck said the near-miss should serve as a reminder smoke alarms were compulsory in rentals.

Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment tenancy compliance and investigations national Manager Steve Watson, of Wellington, said his team had launched an investigation.

``As this is an ongoing investigation we are unable to provide any comment on progress or potential outcomes that may relate to this case.''

On 24 June, a chimney fire at a rental home with no working smoke alarms in Normanby, Dunedin, also resulted in an investigation.

Mr Watson said this inquiry was continuing and he would not be drawn on its progress.


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