A fire that destroyed a family home in west Auckland on Christmas morning was deliberately lit, police believe.
Fire fighters were called to the Coburg St, Henderson, home just before 3am.
All eight occupants escaped without injury but police have released a statement saying investigations have indicated the fire was deliberately lit.
"A male known to the occupants of the address is assisting police with their inquiries," the statement said.
Neighbour Gadir Maklif said he awoke to what he thought was fireworks coming from next door but soon realised it was a large fire from the screams of the people who had fled the house.
Four or six people were standing outside including two children, he said.
The blaze took fire crews over an hour to extinguish.
Maklif said the house appeared to be a write-off and would need to be demolished.
'It's a very sad day for them and it's sad for us as they are very nice neighbours," Maklif said.
- © Fairfax NZ News