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Police Officers Desperate Bid To Save Fire Victim

Police Officers Desperate Bid To Save Fatal Fire Victim

New Zealand Police National News Release
11:23am 26 June 2008
Kapiti police officers smashed their way into a burning Paraparaumu house overnight in a desperate but unsuccessful attempt to save a woman from a fatal fire.

Detective Senior Sergeant Mike Oxnam, Porirua CIB, said the two officers first on the scene were driven back by the intense heat and smoke and were unable to save the woman who is believed to be the sole occupant of the Aorangi Road, Paraparaumu, home.

"The constables made repeated attempts to get into the house by smashing a ranchslider door. One of the officers managed to get into a bedroom by smashing a window but was forced back by the heat and smoke as he tried to reach the kitchen where flames were shooting out the window," Detective Senior Sergeant Oxnam said.

"Faint cries for help were heard from inside the house but tragically the spread of the fire was too intense and too fast for the officers who had been joined by a third colleague to reach the woman.

"As soon as they saw the flames the fire service and ambulance were called," Detective Senior Sergeant Oxnam said. "The constables continued trying to reach the woman and also roused neighbours from homes on either side as flames threatened to spread to adjoining properties."

He said the 34-year-old victim's body was found in the kitchen. Police hope to remove her body from the scene later this morning. The woman's name has not been released as forensic help is needed to formally identify her.

Police had been sent to the house shortly before midnight after a call from a health monitoring service. They had been in telephone contact with the woman and had some concerns about her.

Police were on the scene within eight minutes and found the house on fire.

"The cause of the fire is being investigated and could take some time," Detective Senior Sergeant Oxnam said. "If people can help with information then please contact Kapiti Police Station."


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