Heartfelt tributes for teenage girl killed in Burnham fire

Chris Lynch
Chris Lynch
May 10, 2024 |

Elizabeth “Lizzy” Marvin / Rolleston Softball Club

Heartfelt online tributes have poured in for the teenage girl who tragically lost her life in a devastating fire that engulfed a property in Burnham.

Elizabeth “Lizzy” Marvin died when a fire tore through her home on Wednesday morning.

In a post, Rolleston Softball Club said “it is with great sadness and heartache to inform you of the passing of one of our young and spirited players.

“Elizabeth “Lizzy” Marvin, 16, died after a fire ravaged the property on Toanui St, just outside the army barracks south of Christchurch, in the early hours of the morning earlier this week.

“She was the daughter of Anne Marie and the sister, of Michael, and a great friend of the Rolleston Softball Club” the post read.

“Our hearts extend to the family during this time, and such a tragedy for all that knew her.

Rolleston Softball Club

Rolleston Softball Club

“Over the years, Lizzie played for many of our younger girls teams, and had recently returned to play last season in the mixed grade in the Breakers, alongside her brother, Michael.

“Currently her mother, Anne-Marie is in hospital and Michael is by her side. The club extends its deepest condolences to the family ,friends and anyone that knew her and the family.”

“Lizzie, okioki i runga i te rangimarie, e hine (rest in peace, sweet girl).”

A Give a little page has been set up for the family and as of 4pm on Friday, 150 people had donated $5366.

Meanwhile Fire and Emergency and the Defence Force defended the time it took to attend the blaze.

Rolleston Fire Station firefighters were the first to arrive on the scene.

The Burnham Military Camp Fire Master responded in a Command vehicle, to also provide support.

In a statement released on Thursday, the NZDF said since January 2024, the Burnham Military Fire Station had been operating at reduced capacity.

“As such, New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) personnel provide coverage between 8am and 4.30pm, Monday through Friday.This is in part due to the need to provide staff respite, and because of low Emergency Responder staffing levels.

“The decision to operate on reduced coverage was consulted on, and supported by Fire and Emergency area commanders.

“The Memorandum of Understanding between the NZDF and Fire and Emergency ensures that during periods of reduced NZDF coverage, Fire and Emergency is able to provide cover, as was the case on Wednesday morning.

“The Burnham Emergency Response Troop maintains the capacity to support a local Fire and Emergency response to major events and/or emergencies for discrete periods, such as during the response to the Port Hills fires earlier this year. That response was supported by two NZDF Rural Fire Appliances, and up to six firefighters rotating on a daily basis.”

Chris Lynch
Chris Lynch

Chris Lynch is a journalist, videographer and content producer, broadcasting from his independent news and production company in Christchurch, New Zealand. If you have a news tip or are interested in video content, email [email protected]

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