Two houses, in Waiararapa and Taranaki, were destroyed by fire early this morning.
One fire broke out in an empty rural house on Matarawa Rd, Carterton, at 4.29am, Fire communications shift manager Jan Wills said.
The house was ''totalled'', she said.
At 12.36am a large house on Sutton Rd, New Plymouth, caught fire.
The owner was woken by a smoke alarm and got out.
The house was destroyed excepting for one wing.
Fire safety investigators would examine the cause of both fires.
- The Dominion Post