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Two people suffering from smoke inhalation were taken to Dunedin Hospital in serious condition yesterday after fire broke out at an Oakwood Ave, Maryhill, house at 3.25pm.
Four fire crews battled the blaze for more than an hour, and one crew remained at the scene at 6pm, a Fire and Emergency New Zealand spokesman said.
Andras Palmay, who lives across the street from the house, said he knew the couple who lived there well.
It was the second fire they had experienced in the past couple of years, as a garage on the property had also caught fire, he said.
"They haven’t had a run of good luck.
"They’re lovely people. They’re very good friends of ours."
He thought the second floor of the house would have a reasonable amount of damage.
He believed the male occupant of the house had tried to put the fire out, but the second floor was "well and truly ablaze".
"It’s just quite a tragic event."