Couch to house fire was inevitable

A house fire in North Dunedin was inevitable, and it was lucky – this time – that there were no deaths. Police noticed the fire and woke and evacuated sleeping residents.

ODT: House fire caused by burning couch

Raucous couch-burning party-goers in Dunedin have accidentally set a house on fire during their partying, police say.

Officers were called to a large party on Castle Street at midnight, where several hundred party-goers at two houses were spilling on to the road.

While containing the crowd, attending officers saw a fire at the back of a different house, and found the flames from a burning couch had spread to the home’s weatherboards.

Police said the occupants were woken and evacuated, and the officers attempted to extinguish the flames before the fire service arrived to put the fire out.

It had begun to take hold within the exterior wall just as it was extinguished, police said. There was damage to the weatherboards.

Inspector Kelvin Lloyd said that it was very lucky that the fire did not cause more damage than it did.

“This incident highlighted the dangers associated with the fire lighting issue in the student area,” he said.

“This is exactly the type of case we have been trying to prevent through the consistent and on-going messaging of police, fire and the university.”

“We need to stop thinking that this is part of the culture of the area, and accept the very real dangers that this type of offending poses. This is more than high spirited antics and will result in a tragedy or injury if attitudes do not change. “

This was an escalation waiting to happen. Unless some way is found to stop the arson in the student area this will probably end up with a tragedy.

Anyone caught committing arson needs to be dealt with severely.

UPDATE: in this News Hub report a fire person says that the couch looks like it was up against the house when set alight.

Witnesses sought after couch burning spreads to house

“Mixing alcohol and fires is a recipe for disaster”.

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6 Comments

  1. Nelly Smickers

     /  28th February 2016

    Girls just wanna’ have fun!

    As the song sez, inside every Dunedin brunette there’s an Auckland blonde just wanting to get out 😀

    • This is a very serious issue in Dunedin. Arsonists in densely populated areas are dangerous.

      • mrMan

         /  28th February 2016

        Yeah, You darn kids got offa mah lawn.

      • Klik Bate

         /  28th February 2016

        As far as I can remember, it’s been a ‘serious issue in Dunedin’ for about the last 30 years! You would think by now the the Police and the Courts would have sorted it out.

        Unfortunately, even they still treat it as a joke.

        • Alan Wilkinson

           /  28th February 2016

          Must be a market for asbestos couches in Dunedin?

          • mrMan

             /  28th February 2016

            They’ve got a massive warehouse full of couches that were abandoned after the earthquakes and trucked down to Dunedin, enough to keep burning 50 couches a year for a half a century.