Elderly woman shaken by fire

By Regan Paranihi

On Sunday 7th of January, four teenagers aged between 14 – 18 years old, (three females and one male) approached a house in Ranui, West Auckland at 10 pm, where an 88-year-old woman lives.

When the woman answered the door to the four teenagers they asked for a drink of water, which she provided.

A short time after the group of four returned to the same property where they were then asked to leave.

Two of the females reacted by smashing two windows before they departed.

The victim then called a neighbor and placed a couch up against the broken windows to secure the home overnight.

The woman was woken later that night by her fire alarm to find her couch in flames.

She was able to get out safely with no injuries.

The Fire Service arrived not long afterwards to contain the fire.

Detective Senior Sergeant Roger Small says, “This is an absolutely appalling crime. An innocent elderly victim was targeted in her own home, a place where she should have been able to be safe and feel safe.”

He says often the elderly community tend to feel like their inquiries may be a waste of time for the police, but police want them to know they are there for them.

“We want to remind our elderly community that they can call us if they are in a situation where they feel unsafe.”

Age Concern Auckland CEO Kevin Lamb says unfortunately older people are often targeted; “It is an unfortunate reminder for us all to regularly check on our neighbors, friends, and family, and to call the emergency services without hesitation.”

Anyone with information on the incident can contact Waitakere Police Station 09 839 0600 or alternatively, you can call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.