A blaze that ripped through a Tokomaru property was the first house fire in the town for 35 years.
The house in Matipo St caught fire about 7.15am yesterday.
Firefighters from Tokomaru, Palmerston North and Shannon attended the scene.
The kitchen and living room were destroyed and the house sustained smoke damage.
Deputy chief fire officer Danny Riddiford said two people were in the house, but both got out before firefighters arrived.
Neither was hurt.
Mr Riddiford said the Tokomaru Fire Brigade arrived within five minutes of the 111 call, and firefighters were able to get the flames under control quickly.
It took less than 20 minutes to control the fire and then hot spots were dampened down. Only the front third of the house was damaged.
"Most of it will be smoke-damaged," Mr Riddiford said.
Firefighters believed that the fire started outside the building, but were yet to confirm the cause.
The fire was not suspicious, but a fire safety officer would carry out an investigation.
Mr Riddiford said although it was the first house fire in the town in 35 years, the volunteer firefighters were ready.
The extensive training came in handy, and they had experience with other types of fires.
"It's new but it's not, everything you go to is different," he said.
"The thing is trying not to lose your head ... that's the hard part, keeping the adrenaline under control."
The help from the Shannon and Palmerston North crews was also good, he said.
Palmerston North firefighters used a thermal-imaging camera to search for hot spots in the property.
The conditions were good for a swift shutdown of the fire.
"It was a godsend we had no wind," Mr Riddiford said.
"If we'd had wind, it could've been a lot different."
The two people living in the house were renting it.
The owner of the house has been contacted.
- © Fairfax NZ News
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