House fire leaves Māori family homeless

By Heeni Brown

A Waikaremoana family have been left homeless after a fire engulfed their homestead in Tuai earlier this week.

Fortunately all six family members made it out of the house uninjured.

Deanna Sullivan says, “My son came down and knocked on the door and said, mum the house is on fire. I didn’t know if he was joking with me or not, I kind of panicked.I ran into the kaumatua flats just up the hill from here and got somebody to call the fire services from there.”

With no insurance and nowhere to go, Deanna moved in next door to her in-laws house who are both battling with chronic health problems.

Overcrowding has also meant the family is now resorting to tents.

The whānau are absolutely overwhelmed by the support from Red Cross New Zealand, Victim Support, Māori Woman’s Welfare League, Kohakoha in Rotorua, plus all the support whānau, friends and community offered during this hard time.

Despite the tough times the family face, they look forward to the arrival of their first grandchild.