Fire destroys house
A spectacular house fire which destroyed a River Rd home left a pall of smoke over north east Hamilton early this morning.
Pukete resident Gavin Davis said he heard several large bangs during the blaze across the Waikato River in Flagstaff, which started about 12.30am.
The L-shaped house was unoccupied when the fire began.
It was an old large, farmhouse rental that had been there for many years.
Waikato fire risk management officers, Kevin Holmes and Peter Hallett, are investigating the blaze alongside police to detemine if it was suspicious.
Mr Holmes said the house appeared to have about four bedrooms.
The blaze was so intense a large internal beam - which went through the middle of the house - had collapsed on the ground along with the roof.
Mr Holmes said it would appear that the fire had been able to get well-involved before firefighters have been alerted and able to arrive at the scene.
Rubbish from previous tenants lay scattered around the property when the Waikato Times visited the scene this morning, as well as glass from windows that had exploded.