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April 26, 2010 | by  | in News |
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Couch Fire of Unusual Stupidity

For most of us, the Bloodhound Gang’s ‘The Roof is on Fire’ is something we sing along to while pissed, without it having too much relevance to real life. However, for University of Otago students Phoebe Roach, Kylie Campbell, Jess Findsen, Josie Mooney, Alana Bright and Julia Prier, the song turned into a cruel premonition on Saturday night, when their house was set ablaze by a rogue Scarfie.

The fire was started on a couch sitting in front of the porch, and quickly spread to the front door and surrounding bushes. The front door was completely scorched, and all the surrounding windows cracked under the heat.

Fortunately the girls were all out at various parties that night, and were summoned home when a flatmate’s boyfriend was informed of the fire.

“My boyfriend got a phone call saying that our flat was on fire,” occupant Kylie Campbell told Critic. “By the time I came the police and fire engines were here, and the fire had been put out. I rang my flatmates but they didn’t believe me [about the fire]. They thought I had been locked out and wanted them to come home to let me in.”

Dunedin Detective Sergeant Brett Roberts told the Otago Daily Times that a passing pedestrian rang the fire service, which attended the blaze. “This was just a senseless act of arson which, because of the make-up of the area involved, could well have spread to the attached flat next door, exposing tenants and other residents, putting their lives at risk.”

The Fire Service warned that the occupants wouldn’t have survived the fire, had they been inside and asleep at the time.

“They said we would’ve died… We wouldn’t have woken to the smoke… I think they were just trying to scare us.

“We’ve had heaps of calls from our parents checking that we’re okay.”

The arsonist is still unknown to the police, who are appealing for any information as to their identity.

As for the flatties, life has more or less gone back to normal. They just have to use the back door for the moment.

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