Woman pulls elderly man from Dunedin blaze that killed two people

A Dunedin woman saved an elderly man from a fire that killed two people on Monday morning. 

Two people were killed in the blaze that broke out on Wesley St, Dunedin, at around 5.15am on Monday. 

Wesley St resident Dylan Ryall, 21, said his stepmother helped an elderly man out of the front flat that the fire in a conjoining flat was threatening. 

Mr Ryall said he was outside getting ready for work on Monday morning when he saw smoke coming off the roof of the flat.

"Then we just heard a crack and fire coming out the window as soon as it cracked. We saw a bunch of flames fly up the side of the house.

"I went outside to have a breather then saw it and was like 'woah'."

He said his stepmother ran to the front flat and helped an elderly man out while he alerted the fire service.

Mr Ryall said it was a bit of a shock and the man was grateful for the help.

Dunedin Fire Service Fire Investigator Mark Bredenbeck said when the first fire truck arrived "the road was full of smoke". 

The fire was put out "but unfortunately two people in the flat at the rear of the property did not make it out". 

Four fire trucks battled to put out the blaze. 

The person at the front of the flat had got out of the property with help due to a working smoke alarm, he said. 

The fire was contained to the rear flat, he said. 

There was some smoke and water damage to the front flat and some exposure damage to neighbouring properties but majority of the damage was in the rear building, he said. 

  Firefighters were distributing pamphlets to neighbouring properties encouraging people to take up a in-home-visit by firefighters to talk to them about fire safety in their home, he said. 

"It would be good if people took that up as a matter of course, it helps to talk about these and also get some information on how to stay safe in your own home." 

The cause of the fire was being investigated on Monday and could continue into Tuesday, Bredenbeck said.