Firefighter loses uninsured home to fire

NZ Herald,
Publish Date
Thursday, 31 January 2019, 3:31p.m.
The Kawakawa Bay home was completely destroyed by the fire. Photo / Givealittle
The Kawakawa Bay home was completely destroyed by the fire. Photo / Givealittle

An Auckland firefighter has lost his home and all his family's belongings in a devastating blaze - and has no insurance.

Tony Keals, a volunteer firefighter for 30 years, arrived home with his wife Lorraine Blackwell on Tuesday to find their home in Kawakawa Bay, near Clevedon, almost completely destroyed by the fire.

A Givealittle page set up by the Kawakawa volunteer fire brigade said its firefighters arrived at the scene soon after the 111 call, but it was too late.

"The fire was aggressive and engulfed the family home quickly, fortunately no one was home when the fire broke out," the brigade said on the website.

"Tony and Lorraine arrived while firefighters got the blaze under control and watched helplessly as everything they had built up over the years burned to the ground."

The cause of the blaze is not known.

To make matters worse, the home and its contents were not insured. Keals and Blackwell have three young children and the volunteer fire brigade is now fundraising for the family.

"The family understand the suffering house fires can cause, as Tony, a 'life member' of the Kawakawa Bay Volunteer Fire Brigade, has spent 30 years of his life making himself available 24/7 to help others in need."

Nearly $13,000 has been raised so far.

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