A family is in shock today after they lost everything except the clothes they were wearing when their home, a state house, burned down.
Smoke alarms warned the family of the fire, which was started by their children in a bedroom on Thursday.
The parents had time to gather their two preschool-age children and get out. Family pets, a litter of kittens and some puppies, perished.
Housing New Zealand believes all that is holding up the Wilkinson Street house destroyed in a fire last night is its roof.
“I would anticipate that the building would be demolished,” says Housing New Zealand’s Tauranga service manager, Teresa Pou.
The house was recently renovated and re-roofed following a fire five months ago.
The new family has been in the house for about a month.
“They are currently with family members,” says Teresa.
“We are doing everything that we can to re-house that family.
“We can only house them when a house becomes available – we can look at a temporary solution.
“But I haven’t spoken to the family this morning. We are working with victim support – we have support around the family.”
The new roof is the only thing holding the building together, says Teresa.
“The house is absolutely gutted on the inside, but the roof is still standing. It would be a great advert for that roofing company.”
She doesn’t know the site’s future, but says it is sought after because of its proximity to schools and Fraser Cove.
“It is a big section, we could put two houses on the one,” says Teresa.
“The most important thing is the family is safe. That’s why it’s important that tenants allow us to come in and do our inspections, and that the inspections are done on time.
“When we do our inspections we check that the properties have working smoke alarms.”
The house was last inspected on October 5.