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Girl, 6, thanks rescuers for much loved rag doll retrieved after Christchurch house explosion

A young girl who lives next door to the house that exploded in Christchurch last week has written a heartfelt thank you card to two firefighters who saved one of her dolls.

The six-year-old, Sienna Boggi, was thankfully away from home when her neighbour’s house blew up in a gas explosion on Friday. The flying projectiles destroyed her bedroom, leaving a gaping hole in the wall and burying her beloved rag doll "Nina" in the rubble. 

Her family have been forced to evacuate and are now living in a hotel with just the clothes on their backs, while they wait for engineers to make it safe to re-enter and gather their things.

Dad Paolo Boggi says his daughter has handled the stressful ordeal quite well, but was worried about her doll.

"Since she was a baby, she was given a rag doll she calls Nina, because we travel a lot," he says.

"She lost it once and got a replacement and then we found Nina again, so where ever we go, Nina, has to go with us."

Hearing the young girl's plight, firefighter Jacob Rapley took matters into his own hands and mounted a rescue mission.

"[It’s a] pretty stressful time, any little bit can help, specially with a young kid, so it's nice to have her doll back with her," he says.

"Nina was pretty well hidden, a lot of debris over the top of her, took a bit of hunting round."

The moment meant so much that Sienna was back today to say thank you, handing over a hand-made card to the man who took such great care with her beloved doll. 

"Thank you for getting, getting, getting me old Nina back," she whispered. "She goes everywhere with me because she's special."

The family still has to find a new home but for now, Dad's just happy his girl is safe and well.

"I've got this young lady with us, she's still with us," he says.

"Although you get angry and you get attached to sentimental things, we're all just happy we're in one piece and Sienna's in one piece because if it was another story we might be without Sienna."

The family is sticking together in tough times, old Nina included.

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Six-year-old Sienna Boggi’s bedroom was left wrecked. Source: 1 NEWS