Firefighter called to his own house fire

Firefighter called to his own house fire

An off-duty firefighter suffered a cruel twist of fate when he was called to his own house fire two weeks ago.

Today he threw open the doors of his home to educate others about the devastation fire can cause.

"We talked about the irony of it. I've been doing this now for 24 years and never ever thought I'd be looking at this," says John Boswell.

Mr Boswell is a volunteer firefighter. Two weeks ago his house went up in flames. Today he took 150 others through its charred remains.

"If we can use this to help save lives, educate people, some good will come of it," says Mr Boswell.

There's the importance of smoke alarms. The house was fitted with seven of them.

While there's not much left to salvage, Mr Boswell knows the outcome for his children who were in the house at the time could have been much worse.

"They might not have got out," he says.

Investigators believe the fire was caused by an electrical fault. Within five minutes it had taken hold of the entire house and destroyed $150,000-worth of content. Therein lies one of the most important lessons of all.

"Six weeks prior to the fire I put several things on hold for a little bit, one of which was the contents insurance," says Mr Boswell.

He and his family are learning the hard the way that fire doesn't discriminate. The irony of the situation is certainly not lost on this volunteer fireman.

The New Zealand Fire Service will be offering free home safety checks for those living in residential areas. Call 0800 693 473 to find out more.

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