16 Jun 2011

Man dies in Gisborne house fire

10:16 am on 16 June 2011

An elderly man has died after a house fire in Gisborne, the Fire Service says.

Two fire engines were called to a Housing New Zealand flat on Childers Road at about 10.30pm on Wednesday.

Fire Service assistant area manager Rob Karaitiana says a 70-year-old man was found inside the house.

Mr Karaitiana says crews and St John Ambulance staff tried to resuscitate the man but he died either at the scene or very soon afterwards.

He said the man appeared to have been overcome by the heat or smoke despite fire alarms that were sounding in the house.

Mr Karaitiana says the fire seems to have started in the lounge and about half the house was damaged.

The police and fire service are investigating.