Loafers Lodge fire: Dozens of survivors homeless, possessionless after blaze

Loafers Lodge's deadly blaze has left dozens of Wellingtonians effectively homeless and without any possessions.

Those who survived gathered at a welfare centre at Newtown Park on Tuesday.

Survivor Hemi Lewis has lost everything but the clothes on his back. 

"I've lost everything. It's all gone, I'm still in the same clothes. This is where I crawled out," Lewis said.

Through coughs, Lewis explains he's lucky to be alive at all.

"I opened my door and it was just smoke everywhere and there were flames coming from the roof," he said. "I couldn't breathe and so I hit the floor and I crawled the three flights down to the bottom."

Others weren't so lucky.

"I mean the people next door to me were dying, and I could hear them," Lewis said.

Newton Park, barely a kilometre from that horrible sight, now serves as stop-gap accommodation for many. But the question is where to next?

"I don't know where I'm going tonight," Lewis said.

And he's not alone.

"Nothing to do... I don't have anywhere to go," survivor Isse Adan said.

"A lot of uncertainty, because I don't know where [I'm] going, or if there's going to be room for emergency housing for us and that," survivor Simon Hanify said.

Newshub has been told between 60 and 100 people ended up here in the wake of the country's worst fire in decades.

Nigussie Geda Fenja has spent all day ferrying people to emergency housing, relatives' houses and places like Women's Refuge.

"All variety of people are here. These people are very vulnerable," he said.

And as if losing material possessions wasn't enough, some have lost so much more.

"The very first thing someone asked me when I walked in was what could they tell me about their friend," Wellington Central MP Grant Robertson said.

The Government is desperate to avoid one disaster being compounded by another - the capital's housing shortage.

"The big priority is to get everyone somewhere to stay tonight. And obviously, the agencies are pulling all that together but you can imagine people in there are extremely traumatised and very very worried," Robertson said.

The fire's out but for those who survived, the sense of devastation, of loss, is going nowhere.