A fire has completely gutted a Blenheim house tonight.
No-one was believed to be home when flames took over the Rata St house about 7.25pm.
Neighbour Cheri Baker said she was sitting in her lounge when she heard a series of loud bangs.
"It sounded like an explosion, I looked out the window and the house was just engulfed in flames," she said.
Her friend called the fire brigade but they had already been alerted and they arrived not long after.
"They were amazing, they arrived within 10 minutes," Miss Baker said.
Most residents in the street were aware of the blaze by the time she got outside, she said.
Other neighbours, who did not want to be named, tried to help by calling 111, checking on other neighbours and some even got their hoses out in an attempt to try and dampen the blaze.
Blenheim chief fire officer Rob Dalton said the house was totally involved in fire when the brigade arrived.
"We'll be doing an investigation but we won't be doing that until daylight tomorrow," he said.
"Because it was a very involved fire the police will probably be involved too."
- © Fairfax NZ News
Pals and playmates (pictures)
Reacting to a sudden cancellation
New Zealand's best deck built yesterday
Appreciating Tony Allen
The meaning of blogging