Neighbour heard screams from fatal fire

A neighbour of a Titahi Bay home that was destroyed by fire and left one person dead, says she heard screaming and yelling coming from the property.

Kayla Kirby said she was watching a movie when she heard a loud bang at around 12.30am.

She said she thought the fire was coming from her house, before she realised the house next door was on fire.

"I saw orange light in the backyard."

Ms Kirby said she rushed next door, and the windows and doors had already blown out.

"I could hear screaming and yelling from the inside.

"The smoke just got the better of me."

Ms Kirby was taken to hospital and treated for smoke inhalation.

She said she did not know the residents of the property well.

Fire and police officers remained at the Dimock Street house this morning.

At this stage they were unsure as to the cause of the fire.

The property had been secured for a forensic examination.

Another neighbour, who didn't wish to be named, said the occupant of the house was a quiet man that kept to himself.

He said while his wife called 111, he tried to find a way in to the burning house, that was "gushing with flames".

"I was trying to find a way into the house, and was trying to listen if someone was yelling or calling out for help, but I couldn't hear anything," he said.

- By Nikki Papatsoumas of APNZ



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