Western Leader : March 11th 2011
www.westernleader.co.nz Friday, March 11, 2011 LIFT CHRISTCHURCH West Auckland giving a helping hand -- all money goes to the Red Cross Sunday 20 March 2011 Green Bay High School@3pm CHARITY AUCTION All donations and enquiries to Richard Podwin b. 626 6119 / m. 021 972 758 Organised by HARVEYS Austar Realty Ltd MREINZ My saviour My saviour Hero: Neighbours Monica Finepolo, left, and Toese Faia embrace after Ms Finepolo saved her and husband Safaatili Suailua from a house fire. Photo: VANITA PRASAD By VANITA PRASAD WOMAN BREAKS INTO NEIGHBOUR'S HOUSE TO SAVE FAMILY FROM INFERNO A WOMAN who broke into her neighbour's house to save the family from a fire is being praised as a hero. Monica Finepolo was alerted to the blaze at Hanui Place in Massey on Tuesday afternoon by her seven-year- old son. Toese Faia and Safaatili Suailua were asleep upstairs while the flames spread on the ground floor. I knew the family had children. So as soon as I saw the smoke and saw the car in the driveway I knew there were people inside,'' Ms Finepolo says. Fire was already coming out their windows and the flames were a few metres high.'' She ran around the prop- erty to the back of the house and broke through a wooden door to get in. I saw the husband asleep on the couch with the fire coming up behind him and all I could do was shake him and yell your house is on fire'.''' She went looking for the children when she found Ms Faia asleep on her bed. I grabbed her, shook her and yelled Where are your kids'?'' Luckily the children weren't at home and the trio escaped the inferno. Ms Finepolo says the fire grew quickly. It would have spread in less than a minute.'' Ms Faia is thankful for Ms Finepolo's help. I'm very grateful. If I could think of any word better than grateful I would be using it.'' But Ms Faia says she is devastated about the fire that destroyed the house they had been living in for more than a year. The family has insurance for some of its possessions but some new purchases weren't covered. She says losing possessions left by her late parents was heartbreaking. There were photographs of my parents and us from when I was younger. My wallet was in there which had the only money we've got.'' The family is now staying with Mr Suailua's sister while it finds a new place to live. Waitemata station officer Len Blake says four appliances attended the scene. He says there were no smoke alarms in the house and the couple was very lucky to escape. Thank God for neighbours,'' Mr Blake says. Fire risk management officer Ray Coleman says the blaze appears to have started from under the house but he says the cause is still unde- termined. At this point the evidence suggests it was accidental,'' he says. Go to www.western leader.co.nz to view an eye-witness account from Monica Finepolo. Unit, garage fires keep firefighters on their toes It has been a bad week for fires in west Auckland with a unit and a garage also going up in flames. A Housing New Zealand unit is in ruins following a fire on Sunday morning. Three trucks attended the fire on McLeod Rd in Henderson just before 9am. The unit was attached to two others. Glen Eden station officer Greg Armstrong says the residence was ablaze when they got to the scene. ''There were flames coming out of all the windows -- they were 3 to 5 metres high.'' He says the fire was big enough for the fence of the neighbouring property to catch alight but there was minimal damage to the attached houses. Mr Armstrong says the house had smoke alarms and that made all the difference. ''It was a family with six children but having a smoke alarm meant they were able to get a head start on the fire and get out quick. It was completely gutted.'' A Housing New Zealand spokeswoman says it is assisting the occupants of the property into alternative accommodation. Fire risk management officer Lynda McHugh says the cause of the fire is still under investigation. In an unrelated incident a man was taken to Middlemore Hospital after a fire broke out in his father's Glen Eden garage on Monday night. The fire on Ambler Ave began around 6.30pm and five fire trucks were called to the scene. Mr Armstrong says the man was treated for second degree burns from the fire which destroyed the garage. Miss Hugh says a vapour explosion is believed to be the cause of the fire which is not being treated as suspicious.
March 10th 2011
March 15th 2011