'Pretty cool': Heroic Christchurch 10-year-old alerts mum to early morning fire

Maddie Arnold is being called a hero after alerting her mother that their neighbour's deck was on...
Maddie Arnold is being called a hero after alerting her mother that their neighbour's deck was on fire. Photo: NZH
A heroic 10-year-old Christchurch girl alerted her mother that their neighbour's deck was on fire.

Young Maddie Arnold woke up to the smell of smoke and her quick actions meant the fire was stopped before three fire crews got to the Aranui home just after 1am on Friday.

Her mother Kimberley says she thought it was a dream when Maddie came into her room shouting.

"Maddie came into my room in the early hours of the morning yelling, 'mum, mum, the deck's on fire'.

"She doesn't normally wake during the night.

"It was 1.30 and she said she could smell the smoke and then she looked out the window and there was flames.

"I thought it was a dream. I looked out the window and yes the deck was on fire."

Kimberley says it's a good job she rushed out to hose down the neighbour's deck before the fire brigade arrived.

"I actually go there before they got out of their house.

"Five minutes longer, I think the whole wall would've been engulfed."

Kimberley said the neighbour was appreciative and aren't sure what the cause of the fire might be.

She said Maddie might not understand that she's potentially saved the neighbour's house, and their lives.

"What she's done was pretty cool.

"She had to sleep with her sister last night. She was a bit scared... but she did a good job."

Maddie has asked for a Snickers bar but her parents have a larger treat in store for her this weekend.








Local trusted journalism matters - now more than ever

As the Covid-19 pandemic brings the world into uncharted waters, Star Media journalists and photographers continue to report local stories that matter everyday - yours.

For more than 152 years our journalists have provided Cantabrians with local news that can be trusted. It’s more important now than ever to keep Cantabrians connected.

As our advertising has fallen during the pandemic, support from you our reader is crucial.

You can help us continue to provide local news you can trust simply by becoming a supporter.

Become a Supporter