INDEPENDENT NEWS

Hamilton fatal fire

Published: Thu 23 Aug 2012 11:20 AM
Hamilton fatal fire
While highlighting the difficulties for investigators created by the severity of damage, the officer in charge of a fatal Hamilton fire investigation credited the bravery of the occupants of the house whose actions prevented further tragedy.
Detective Senior Sergeant Nigel Keall of the Waikato CIB said there are about 30 Police staff working on the unexplained sudden death enquiry which is being treated as a homicide.
"In addition to our staff we are being assisted by ESR forensic experts and Fire Service investigators as we commence our scene examination today.
"Owing to hot spots reigniting in the house yesterday we were unable to conduct more that an initial reconnaissance of the scene and a priority for today will be commencing the scene examination, hopefully to the point where we can remove the victim's body to allow a post-mortem examination to be carried out in Auckland tomorrow."
Police believe there were nine people inside the Holland Rd house when the fire began about 3.50am and eight people managed to escape, with four being taken to Waikato Hospital including one-year-old and four-year-old children.
"The dead person's body remains in situ while the scene examination is underway so we have been unable to formally identify the person at this time. What we do know is that the other adult occupants initially exited the home when the fire started but then bravely returned to try and fight the fire.
"We know that one man managed to pull a four-year-old child from a lounge window and then re-entered the house to successfully rescue the baby. Had it not been for this person's actions we would be investigating a far greater tragedy."
Mr Keall said investigations of this type are evidentially based and the considerable damage to the interior of the house and resulting water damage caused during the battle to control the blaze means investigators will have to manage a number of time consuming challenges.
"To that end we are keeping foremost in our minds that we are working on behalf of the victim and that person's family."
End

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