By Julia Cameron • 16 May 2023 • 7:28
New Zealand fire engine.
A fire in a four-storey hostel in Wellington, New Zealand has killed at least six people, with more expected.
The hostel was home to a number of refugees, as well as doctors and nurses who work in a nearby hospital. They have lost all that they own in the fire. It is believed that 501 immigrants were staying at the hotel, and some are still missing.
A resident at the hostel, Tala Silli described how he was forced to jump out of the hotel window when the fire started.
Another resident told Radio New Zealand that there were often false fire alarms, but when he left his room on this occasion, he could smell smoke. He told reporters how he walked along the corridor banging on doors to warn people of the fire saying, “This one is real.”
Some of the residents didn’t react quickly, it is thought because of the number of false alarms, sometimes they would ring two or three times a week said Tamarat Isse Adan. He said he managed to escape with his mobile phone and his jacket, but he didn’t know where he would sleep that night.
The fire started on the top floor of the building just after midnight on Tuesday, May 5. The fire department has confirmed that the cause of the fire is unknown, and they passed on their condolences to the families of those that died.
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Julia is an ex-pat writer from Brighton living in a small village close to the Andalucian town of Priego de Cordoba. When she's not working she enjoys reading, tracing her ancestry and swimming. She especially loves the summer when she can get down to the coast and chill on the beach.
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