LATEST: A toaster is believed to be the cause of a house fire that destroyed a Terrace End home this morning.
Fire services were called to the house, at 4 Ruamahanga Cres, about 10.15am, but Palmerston North Fire Safety Officer Kerry O'Keefe said it was likely the toaster had been smouldering well before then.
The toaster had been left plugged in inside a kitchen bench top in-built bread bin with a pulldown door, which had caught the switch as it closed, he said.
The occupants of the house had left by about 8.15am, and it was likely it had been smouldering since then, he said.
Neighbours were alerted to the fire by the sound of windows blowing out, but a smoke alarm would probably have caught their attention earlier had there been one working, he said.
The only room not damaged by fire or smoke was the toilet.
Despite all the doors being closed, an internal ventilation system had dispersed the smoke throughout the house, he said.
The occupants of the house, who were at work at the time of the fire, declined to comment.
- © Fairfax NZ News
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