January 9, 2008
The four children who died in one of the worst house fire tragedies in many years have been remembered at an emotional service in front of their burnt out house.
The four, aged 15, 11, eight and one, died early on Tuesday morning when a pan of cooking oil on the stove set fire to the kitchen of their Mangere house.
The fire rapidly spread and frantic efforts the two adults in the house, Misi and Fetu Sau, failed to save them.
Brenda Simati, 15, her stepsisters Taua Evile, 11, Mia Evile, 8, and 1-year-old nephew Tyreece Simati all died in the house and none was able to make it outside.
On Tuesday night the children were remembered by their grief-stricken families and members of the Mangere community, shocked at the tragedy.
Brenda was a good girl with a fabulous smile, said her family.
One relative said she was a caring girl and always helped look after the other children. She enjoyed sport - particularly basketball and athletics - and was always 'full of life'.
Tyreece was inquisitive and 'full of beans' and a 'cute little boy', said his uncle, Aveloa Sauvao.
Bruce Adams, of Christchurch, said his grandchildren Taua and Mia were bright and happy youngsters, who impressed everyone they met.
'They had good manners and were never rude to anyone. They loved to joke with people,' he said in the New Zealand Herald today.
They were staying with their father Misi Sau and his wife Fetu Sau.
Mr and Mrs Sau were both taken to hospital, Mr Sau was badly burnt and was still in a critical condition but Mrs Sau was released from hospital yesterday.