19 Nov 2009

Police say food on stove probably caused fatal fire

6:57 pm on 19 November 2009

Manawatu police say a fire that claimed the lives of a preschooler and a woman in Foxton early on Wednesday morning is not suspicious.

The bodies of three-year old Lesharn Kiri-Leigh Taitoko and 22-year-old Atarina Emma Robinson were found at the Hulke Street house following the blaze.

The girl lived at the property with her 24-year-old mother, who was rescued from the fire by neighbours.

An examination of the house is now complete and police are satisfied that the fire is not suspicious.

They say it appears to have started in the kitchen dining area and at this stage the most likely cause is unattended cooking on the stove top.

The saved woman was woken by a smoke detector, but other detectors weren't working because they didn't have batteries.

Fifty family members and friends visited the scene on Wednesday afternoon to pay their respects to the victims and say a karakia.