Fireplace suspected ignition point for house blaze on Kapiti Coast, north of Wellington
An elderly man is in hospital after a blaze - suspected to be linked to his fireplace - ignited and spread through his roof.
Fire, police and ambulance emergency services were called on Monday to the Rimu Rd, Kapiti Coast house, north of Wellington.
The fire came as the Kapiti Coast hunkered down for another downpour on Monday, after polar winds and rain the previous week.
Neighbour Paul Devany said he heard something happening about 9:15am.
"I heard some noise, and it was the fire brigade rolling the hose down the driveway. I came out and all I could see was smoke. The house was enveloped in smoke."
He said he thought the chimney caught fire, then something in the roof.
By 10am there were five fire trucks on Rimu Rd dealing with the blaze. An ambulance arrived at the scene a few minutes later.
Shortly after midday Kapiti Coast District Council said a traffic diversion between the Rimu Rd roundabout and Fiesta Grove could be in place for up to three hours.