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The remains of the shed in Hikutaia where a man lost his life last week. Photo: KELLEY TANTAU

Firefighters battle fatal fire

A shed fire that claimed the life of a Hikutaia man last week remains under investigation, Fire and Emergency NZ told The Profile.
The blaze broke out around 12.30am on Tuesday, August 16, at a property next-door to O’Meara Refrigeration along State Highway 26 in Hikutaia, north of Paeroa.
The man, a long-time resident of Hikutaia, was asleep in accommodation within the shed at the time of the fire.
Eleven fire trucks attended the incident and the fire took around six hours to be extinguished.
A resident, who didn’t want to be named, said neighbours tried to save the man by pulling him out of the shed, but it was too late.
The man, believed to be in his late 60s, was a well-known part of the Hikutaia community and would be missed, they said.
He helped maintain and raise funds for the Hikutaia community hall across the road by collecting car batteries, and also organised swap meet events.
The death has been referred to the Coroner.