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Smoke alarms taken out before Dunedin fire

NZ NewswireNZ Newswire 14/05/2016
© Twitter / @NZChambo

Those caught in a house fire at band Six60's former Dunedin flat were lucky to have escaped after smoke alarms in the house were taken down, the Fire Service says.

One person was left with burns to their hands after leaping from a second-storey window to escape the fire at 660 Castle Street early on Saturday morning.

Four people were taken to Dunedin Hospital, including one in a serious condition with burns, and two others with cuts and smoke inhalation.

The fourth, a firefighter, injured his knee during the blaze.

Area commander Laurence Voight told media two newly-installed smoke alarms in the building had been taken down, describing it as an "an act of stupidity".

The fire was "well ablaze" when four trucks arrived at 7am and was being dampened down within an hour, a spokesman said.

The band Six60 is named after the address of the flat, where the group formed in 2008, and they have regularly played gigs there.

But a balcony collapse during one of the band's shows, in which 18 people were injured, was at nearby 598 Castle Street - an alternative venue used to accommodate more people.

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