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Man dies in motel fire

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A man is dead after an early morning fire in an Auckland motel. Firefighters were called to the Unicorn Motel in Shelley Beach Road shortly before 5am today.

Two appliances responded but when it was thought a person was trapped inside a motel unit, a third appliance was sent.

The dead man was found soon after.

A taxi driver is being hailed a hero for preventing more deaths. He went into the motel and raised the alarm when he saw smoke and flames coming from it.

Chief fire officer Brian Edwards said: “He came into the hotel, roused some of the downstairs occupants, including the manager here. They then attempted to put the fire out using a hose reel.”

Fifteen occupants have been accounted for.

Traffic is disrupted in the area and police say motorists should not take the Shelley Beach Road exit from the Harbour Bridge.

Fire safety officers were trying to find out the cause of the fire.

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