2 Oct 2015

Elderly woman and dogs die in Akl fire

12:32 pm on 2 October 2015

An elderly woman has died in a house fire in the central Auckland suburb of Ponsonby.

The Fire Service was called to the house in Brown Street about 2.30am today.

When firefighters arrived, the house was fully ablaze and it took them some time to be get inside.

After the fire was extinguished, fire crews discovered the bodies of an elderly woman and several dogs inside the home.

Several neighbouring properties had to be evacuated and one directly next door suffered some fire damage.

Police said they would be investigating on behalf of the coroner.

A neighbour, Maggie Thomas, described desperately trying to put out the fire.

Ms Thomas, whose own home was damaged in the fire, said she tried to put it out with a garden hose but the water had no effect.

She said it was very frustrating and distressing knowing her neighbour of 18 years was probably inside.

She said her neighbour was a lovely woman who cared for her dogs like they were children.

Fire Service investigator Mike McEnaney said fire fighters arrived quickly but the flames had already spread.

He said smoke alarms were beeping when they arrived.

The Fire Service said it took several minutes for them to get the fire under control so they could enter the home.

Vaughn Davis lives two doors down from the property and was evacuated by fire crews in the early hours of this morning.

He posted a series of tweets and photographs of emergency services at the scene.

He also tweeted a picture of a small dog rescued from the fire, which he said was now with dog control.

Mr Davis said there were about 50 emergency staff on the scene to help with the house fire, which he called "v ugly."

"Neighbour's roof being lifted by fire dept. No damage here and allowed back in," he tweeted.

"Media reports our neighbour has died. Very sad. Fire crews walking slowly back to their trucks."