Far North house fire: Neighbour with garden hose, fishing firefighters save the day

Volunteer firefighters from the Kaitāia brigade had been competing in a nearby fishing contest when the fire broke out. Photo / Snapper Bonanza

A neighbour armed with a garden hose – along with a bunch of firefighters competing in a nearby fishing contest – has been credited with saving a Far North home from being destroyed by fire.

The blaze broke out at Waipapakauri Ramp, next to Ninety Mile Beach about 20km north of Kaitāia, just before 4pm last Thursday.

No one was home at the time because the entire family was at Snapper Bonanza headquarters, just a few hundred metres down the road, for the daily prizegiving ceremony.

Kaitāia fire chief Craig Rogers said several firefighters were also competing in the five-day contest and had a tanker parked on the grounds, both as a water supply and to promote the brigade.


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“There was a whole bunch of us at the prizegiving in singlets and jandals. A few of us jumped into the tanker, the rest jumped in their utes,” he said.

When the volunteers arrived, they found nearby resident Peter Kitchen had grabbed a garden hose and already had the fire “pretty much under control”.

“He did a magic job. It was fortunate he was there, the truck was there, and we were there.”

The home was smoke-damaged throughout but structural damage appeared to be confined to the kitchen.


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“So it was a great save,” he said.

The cause was thought to be a pot left on the stove.

That evening Bonanza contestants donated $2100 to the affected family, and on the final night a lucky draw winner donated his newly won 65-inch TV.

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