Loafers Lodge fire: Extent of damage hits home for survivor of fire, says he's 'emotional' to return

The sobering scenes of the charred Loafers Lodge in Wellington are a reminder of what happened to the hostel for those who lived there and survivor Chris says he's "emotional" to return. 

Six people are confirmed dead following the violent blaze on Tuesday morning, Chris told AM the victims' families now have to bury their "loved ones".

"They're not here today, that's sad."

Chris says there is a lot of speculation among those who lived at Loafers Lodge as to what caused the fire, including a couch on the third floor being set alight. 

Fire and Emergency New Zealand (FENZ) and police's investigation into the blaze is in full swing, with no cause determined yet. 

Specialist police teams are hoping to enter the building on Wednesday but an extensive risk assessment needs to be completed first. The scene examination is expected to take some time.

FENZ says it's treating the fatal fire as suspicious, but police aren't going that far, describing it as "unexplained".

Chris says he and other residents were used to the fire alarms going off at Loafers Lodge because it would happen frequently and often be false alarms.

He claims a separate fire alarm was sounded on Monday night and then was turned off.

"Then the alarm went off, 'oh yeah sweet must be a false alarm'."

But Chris says an hour and a half later he woke to his neighbour yelling "f***en fire, the building is on fire".

"I got up, opened the door and just bro it was just black smoke, you couldn't see nothing (sic)," he said.

"I could hear my neighbour and I was going 'bro f***ing follow me', and so I was trying to get out and couldn't even see."

Loafers Lodge fire: Extent of damage hits home for survivor of fire, says he's 'emotional' to return
Photo credit: AM

Wellington City Missioner Murray Edridge told AM survivors are "doing it tough", with a lot of them being vulnerable.

"All of a sudden life's changed and the situation has got way worse for them and as Chris just said amazing things happened yesterday, short-term people's needs were met, but longer term there's going to be a whole lot of things that need to be done."

The gutted and uninhabitable Loafers Lodge has left the survivors without a home and Edridge says the task is now to find long-term accommodation, but that doesn't come without its difficulties.

"We had 92 people in this building, that's going to put even more pressure on the housing stock," he said.

"That's going to be a really difficult journey going forward as we try and find appropriate accommodation for these people to live in."

Watch the video above for more.