A decontamination tent has been set up at the scene of a house fire in Waitara.
Fire fighters suspect the cladding of the old home may contain asbestos.
Two fire crews from Waitara and one from New Plymouth began battling the blaze on King St about 10:20am.
The hazardous materials fire unit has also been sent along with a fire safety officer.
Waitara deputy chief fire officer Greg Cox said the fire was well alight when they arrived.
Home owner Murray Smith said his daughter had been living in the house.
He was not sure whether the house was insured or his daughter had contents insurance.
"All her clothes, all her gears, its all in there."
Nobody was in the house at the time of the fire.
Mr Smith said his daughter told him she had made sure all appliances were turned off before she left for work this morning.
Mr Cox said it was too early to tell where the fire started or what caused it.
Part of the street has been blocked off and the direct neighbours were evacuated as the fire was threatening to spread to their home.
- © Fairfax NZ News
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