The family of a recent immigrant who died in a blaze in Auckland on Wednesday will hold a memorial service next week before they send her body back to Ethiopia.
Meme Tsige Woldeyesus, who moved to New Zealand a year ago with her two daughters, aged 13 and 14, and her six-year-old son, had high hopes of setting up a new life.
Firefighters discovered her body in a bedroom of her Saxon St home while fighting a fire around 10.30am.
“The family are speaking with a funeral director and it’s expected that they will send the body back next week and they’ll hold a service on the same day,” said Danyet Shiferaw, president of the Auckland Ethiopian Community.
The 33-year-old’s three children were in the care of extended family.
“The family will still have a meeting about their future. The whole family and the community are grieving and still in shock so they haven’t made any decisions yet.”
Shiferaw said it was believed Woldeyesus was asleep when the fire broke out at the Housing New Zealand home she shared with a boyfriend and a young female flatmate.
Her son was to receive trauma counselling through Waterview Primary School where he is a pupil.
Police and fire investigators have been carrying out a scene examination at the house, which was expected to continue today.
The cause of the blaze is yet to be determined.