Local boy mourned in Hastings fire

By Aroha Treacher
  • North Island: East Coast

This afternoon the grieving family of the 10-year-old boy who died as the result of a series fire in downtown Hastings gathered at the site as kaumatua blessed the building and surrounding area.

The boy lived locally and the kura kaupapa he attended has received a number of social media tributes.

"Our thoughts are with all the families involved in this tragedy and we are providing support to them and the community at this time," says Hawke’s Bay Area Investigations Manager Detective Senior Sergeant Martin James.

"Police are yet to speak with those involved and enquiries are ongoing to understand the circumstances surrounding this tragic incident. Once those enquiries are completed the matter will be referred to the Coroner."

David Jones who works right next door to where the fire happened says he heard screaming coming from the building. He and his staff used hoses to help try and put the fire out but the thick black smoke forced them back.

"I heard this noise including the screaming like a "whoomph" and suddenly black smoke intense black smoke. Within about two minutes the black was absolutely you couldn't see a thing, you couldn't see anything in the workshop. Everybody got it in their eyes in their clothes and in their mouth and that."

The boy who died was one of two young boys seriously injured, the Hawke's Bay DHB has confirmed that the other boy who is nine-years-old has been transferred to Hutt Hospital for further treatment where he is in a stable condition.

Police are not in a position to release the name of the boy who died at this stage and the investigation into the cause of the fire continues.