An Annesbrook family have been left without a home and their pet dog after their house burnt down last night in a fire which the local fire service are saying could have been stopped sooner.
The Cawthron Cresent house belonged to a woman and her two daughters who were away from home when the fire began late last night.
The Nelson command unit and six fire appliances from Stoke, Richmond and Nelson were called out to the fire around 9pm which originated in the far right corner of the house.
As they arrived, the windows blew out and the wind direction took control, spreading the fire rapidly through the house.
Next-door-neighbour Sherrie says the smell of smoke was the first thing that alerted them.
“We smelt the smoke before anything else and then looked out and you couldn’t see anything in the driveway, I had to move our car but there was so much smoke it was like driving in braille.”
On the other side of the house, neighbour Andrew McHaffie says by the time he and his wife noticed the fire it was well and truley smoking and they couldn’t go near it.
“The smoke was pouring out the back corner of the roof and as soon as the window went, that was it.”
While the family were unharmed and away from their house when the fire started, neighbours and fire officers say the family’s pet dog was trapped inside the house and did not make it out.
“He got as far away from the fire as he could and curled up in the corner, we didn’t even hear him barking when we were checking that no one was inside, it’s pretty sad, he was a good dog,” says Sherrie.
Stoke Station Officer Ryan Hitchcock says the fire could have been stopped sooner.
“There were no working fire alarms in the house, they could have alerted neighbours earlier and it might not have been so bad.”
Ryan says they are unsure of the cause at this stage but the fire investigator will be on site all day investigating.