NZ Local News

Māngere Bridge fire: Families who lost everything supported by community

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The fire at the Māngere Bridge church complex destroyed transitional homes, residents’ belongings and a car. Photo / RNZ / Jordan Dunn

A charity says families displaced after a fire destroyed temporary homes behind a South Auckland church will need lots of support this holiday season.

Two weeks ago, a fire ripped through the Akoteu Faka Kalisitiane Ko Namoa church complex at Māngere Bridge.

The blaze destroyed four cabins on the complex, where families in need of housing have been living in temporary accommodation.

Dave Letele from the charity Buttabean Motivation (BBM) has been supporting the 10 affected families, who are still living temporarily in the main church hall.

“We got reached out right after it happened for support with food and more, and we always think if you can help, you should.”

He said the community has been rallying around the affected families who had lost everything in the fire and were doing it tough, especially in the lead-up to Christmas.

“We are just one out of a number of groups that are supporting and doing the best we can. It’s tough times for a lot of people, and for this to happen just leading up to Christmas, it’s heartbreaking, really.

It was earlier reported by Fire and Emergency New Zealand (Fenz) that there were no sprinklers and no evidence of smoke alarms in the church buildings housing the families.

The Tongan church said the revelation was concerning.

No one was injured in the fire, but Fenz said the families are lucky to be alive.

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