Tune into Seven Sharp on TVNZ 1 at 7pm on Wednesday 23 June to see our people create some serious heat with a controlled live on-air house fire burn in Palmerston North.

The story will show viewers that a real house fire isn’t like the movies, and that you have less than three minutes to escape alive. 

Several teams have worked together to bring the story to life, ensuring stringent safety protocols are in place. The street itself will be cordoned off to traffic and nearby residents will be able to watch the burn from a safe distance.

Reporter Lucas de Jong and camera crew have undergone BA training at our training centre in Kilbirnie, and have been briefed by Trainer, Chris Kennedy to ensure they know what to expect on the day. The training was a refresher for Lucas, who was front and centre of a previous live on air house burn(external link)(external link) three years ago.

Local school children will also get a chance to learn about the importance of escape plans as a practical element of their Firewise programme on Tuesday, ahead of the burn. The Palmerston North team will get the kids to do an Escape My House challenge and then take them through the house so they can think about how they would escape if they had to.

On Wednesday night, Station Officer, Daniel Nesbit and Trainer, Dave Milham will lead the reporter and camera person through the house at the early stages of the fire. Risk Reduction and Investigations Manager Todd O’Donoghue and Trainer Chris Kennedy will be on hand, and will talk to Lucas about fire safety after he gets escorted out of the house as the fire picks up. National Advisor Fire Risk Management, Pete Gallagher will be in the studio with Seven Sharp’s hosts, explaining what’s happening during the burn.

A follow-up story on the Thursday will show the devastating aftermath, showing just how little of the house is left. The house involved was set to be demolished by a property developer, just like many of the houses used for live fire training.

In case you do miss the story, we’ll post it on the Portal and Facebook after it airs, or check it out on TVNZ OnDemand(external link)(external link).

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