Three Dead In South Island Blaze

Publish Date
Wednesday, 5 August 2015, 9:49AM
Waimate's former Savoy Tea Rooms. Photo- Google Maps

Waimate's former Savoy Tea Rooms. Photo- Google Maps

Three people have died in a fire at an Indian restaurant in Waimate this morning.

Emergency services are still working at the site of the blaze at the former Savoy Tearooms building on Queen St, that was reported at 7.45am.

It is understood the two-storeyed site is now an Indian restaurant and the family that own it live in the top level.

A witness, that wished not to be named, said some children were rescued.

The Fire Service confirmed three people had died and others were seriously injured.

"We have 5 trucks currently on the scene of a fatal fire in Waimate. Three dead with others seriously injured," said a tweet from the agency.

Initial reported advised there were a number of people inside the building, some with very serious injuries.

St John spokesman Ian Henderson said three people had been transported to hospital with moderate injuries.

Canterbury Police Rural Area Commander Dave Gaskin was on his way the scene and would release more information later this morning.

Waimate's mayor says a Nepalese family, with four children, had been living in the space above the Everest Restaurant.

Craig Rowley, who also owned a jeweller store in the building, says the family had been living in the town for the last 18-months to two years.

"I knew them reasonably well," he says. "They were lovely and hard-working."

While he didn't know the exact age of the kids he knew there were two "younger ones".

Source- NZ Herald