A man escaped with a burnt hand after a house fire on Auckland's North Shore this morning.
The Fire Service was called at about 10.30am to Langana Ave in Browns Bay.
Neighbour Jean Coomer lives opposite the house and was cleaning up in her kitchen when she heard an ''almighty blast'' and saw plumes of black smoke.
''I thought oh no, something dreadful has happened. You see these things on TV and then suddenly it's right outside.''
It took three crews from East Coast Bays, Takapuna and Albany 30 minutes to put out the blaze.
Takapuna senior station officer Shane Doughty said the fire started in the lounge but they are not sure of the cause.
It completely destroyed one room, spread into the roof and caused smoke damage through the house.
Doughty said one occupant was home at the time of the fire and burnt himself.
A St John paramedic at the scene said the man has blistering to his hand but no other injuries.
He was using Coomer's hose to run water over the burn.
Coomer says it all happened so suddenly.
''It's normally such a quiet drive...I just feel sorry for the occupants because it's not a nice thing.''
The house had no smoke alarms.
''It probably would have limited the damage or alerted the occupant a bit earlier,'' Doughty said.
Fire investigators are at the scene and the fire crews will spend another couple of hours making sure hot spots do not reignite.