Man burned saving home

The scene at Hartford Avenue. Photo: Sam Gardner.

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A man suffered serious burns to his back carrying a burning mattress out of his Hartford Avenue home today.

The man aged in his late 30s, put the burning mattress on his back and carried it out of the house. He then took the garden hose and went back inside the burning building and extinguished the fire that was rapidly spreading, says Fire and Emergency NZ senior station officer at Tauranga, Mark Keller.

He saved the building, but received some really serious burns to his back and head, says Mark.

“We had multiple calls, it (the fire) was going quite well. There was some decent heat travelling around the ceiling. He saved the house, it would have been a serious fire,’ says Mark.

But he shouldn’t have done it.

“We don’t want people doing that,” says Mark. “We would rather people close the door, get everybody out safely, and we’ll put the fire out. Over the years I have seen a number of incidents where people have put themselves too much at risk.”

People just don’t realise how quickly an active fire can spread, says Mark.

The fire service received multiple calls about the Hartford Avenue house being on fire about 4.20pm.

The fire was caused by an electrical fault that set fire to the mattress and curtains. The house has smoke alarms, that were all sounding when the brigade arrived, says Mark.

The family will be unable to go back to the house tonight, and it will require repairs, a repaint and an electrical check before it is again habitable.

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