The Burrow family are hoping to start looking for a new home soon, after theirs was gutted by fire in December.
A family whose house burnt down weeks before Christmas want to thank the Blenheim community while offering firsthand insurance advice to others.
Andrew and Paige Burrow along with their two young children lost all of their belongings in a fire which ripped through their house on December 5. They had been living in the rental for about two years.
“Best advice I can say is put aside that weekly McDonald’s meal … and get insurance, it’s something worth doing,” Andrew Burrow said this week.
Since the fire, a lot of their friends had become more “fire safe” and taken out insurance which Burrow suggested could be done by “skipping that weekly Big Mac”.
He had his “fingers crossed” that their experience would encourage more people to take out insurance, and said it’s “something I don’t wish to happen to anyone”.
The Burrows were living with extended family and “slowly” getting back on their feet, he said.
“It’s one step at a time, eventually we will get there.”
He hoped they would start looking for their own place soon.
“It’s been two months since the fire, and still today people are being amazing with help and the spirit of gifting,” he said.
“The anxiety won’t go away for a wee while but we have our family and friends always here asking how we are.
“Blenheim is truly an amazing community.”
Five fire crews were called to the house on Glendale Place in the early hours of the morning on December 5 and Fire and Emergency later reported a “total loss”.
Paige Burrow woke up at 4am, as she always did, to feed her then 10-week-old baby, when she saw the “massive, orange glow” outside.
She ran to wake Andrew, and they got their baby and 3-year-old to safety.
The Marlborough community rallied around them, dropping over donations, and a week after the fire, says a family friend, so they didn’t require anything else at that stage.
The fire which gutted their home was started by a cigarette butt, prompting a warning from the fire investigator.
Fire risk management officer Greg McLean said they had been using a plastic bucket, hanging on a wooden railing at the end of the deck, to discard cigarette butts.
The fire started in the bucket, spreading to the wooden railing and onto two outdoor lounges made of plastic and foam.
“Once the fire blew in from the large window, being wind assisted that night, it spread very quickly through the interior of the building,” McLean said.
The plastic bucket had a small amount of water in it, but it would have been some time since it was checked, McLean said. The water could have evaporated over a couple of hot days or been absorbed by the old butts.
Donations can be made to the family at gofundme.com