Wellington hostel fire: Six killed in New Zealand fire

WELLINGTON, New Zealand — At least six persons are useless after a fire broke out in a single day at a multistory hostel in New Zealand’s capital in what fire officers are describing as their “worst nightmare” and a once-in-a-decade occasion.

Local police estimate that fewer than 10 individuals had been killed, though authorities had been nonetheless investigating the scene Tuesday morning native time. Fifty-two individuals had been accounted for, Wellington fire commander Nick Pyatt stated on native morning information program “AM.”

Prime Minister Chris Hipkins informed reporters that first responders had been pulled in from “across the region” to assist struggle the blaze.

Loafers Lodge, in the suburb of Newtown in southern Wellington, advertises itself as “a cost-effective accommodation option” for short- and long-term residents.

Paul Jury, who had been residing on the lodge for about 18 months, stated that when the smoke alarm first went off, he thought that it might have been considered one of a variety of false alarms in latest instances. “There were a lot of false alarms,” he informed reporters.

Firefighters arrived at 12:25 a.m. Tuesday to face “a very challenging incident,” Pyatt stated. The fire quickly unfold up and burned up via the roof, he stated.

“It doesn’t get worse than this,” Pyatt told reporters. “This is a once-in-a-decade fire for Wellington. It’s the worst nightmare for us.”

Pyatt stated the big quantity of residents in the building added to the problem of the rescue mission. Five individuals had been rescued off the roof, he stated.

The nation’s housing minister, Megan Woods, stated the building was inspected earlier this yr, and met the requirements of the nation’s building code — together with a stand-alone fire alarm system — though fire authorities confirmed Tuesday that there have been no sprinklers in the building.

Hipkins stated there have been many shift staff residing in the building, so it was unclear what number of residents had been at work when the fire started.

At this stage “the cause of the fire is unexplained, and Police will be working alongside [Fire and Emergency New Zealand] to determine cause,” the Wellington District Police said in an announcement.

Local information outlet Stuff stated the fire was being treated as suspicious, citing a senior emergency companies supply.

“I’m committed to finding out what went wrong here, who is at fault,” Wellington Mayor Tory Whanau informed Stuff. When she first arrived on the scene Tuesday morning, Whanau stated, she mistakenly believed that the entire hostel’s residents had been safely evacuated. “When the time is right, we will be holding the right people to account.”

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