“We’ve lost everything” – Family of nine escape devastating house fire

Chris Lynch
Chris Lynch
Aug 14, 2023 |

A family of nine has lost everything after a devastating house fire destroyed all of their possessions.

A two-storey house on Wharenui Rd in Upper Riccarton caught fire on Saturday afternoon.

Fire and Emergency sent multiple fire trucks to the scene to extinguish the blaze.

Speaking with Chris Lynch Media, Christchurch mother Sefaloni Latavao said she was out working when she received a call from her husband saying their house was on fire.

“My seven kids and husband saw the smoke, and quickly got out of the house. It was a terrifying experience for them.

“All of my kids, aged between 3 and 16 years old, thankfully escaped the fire without any injuries.”

A GiveaLittle page has been created to help the family recover.

Sefaloni Latavao says Police helped her family get short term accommodation at a motel, along with a local Tongan community church which have been helping the family secure food and clothes.

“All of our possessions have been destroyed in the fire. We were renting the property, and we are now waiting on WINZ support to help us find new accommodation. “

She says the fire got out of control in a matter of seconds, with fire investigators still not sure on what caused the fire.

Latavao says they moved to Christchurch last year from Auckland, and are grateful to the help offered from the local community.

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]

Have you got a news tip? Get in touch here

got a news tip?