House goes up in flames in Te Puna
Onlookers saw flames shooting from the roof as a house went up in flames in Tauranga early Monday.
Firefighters received a call from a cellphone reporting flames coming from the structure at the bottom of Minden Rd in Te Puna at 6.30am, Fire and Emergency northern communications shift manager Jaron Phillips said.
They arrived to find the 10 by 50 metre house behind Accommodation Te Puna ablaze.
"The house was fully involved in fire when the first fire crews arrived from the Tauranga and Greerton stations."
Megan Chaplin was heading into work at the nearby Nourish Cafe at 6.30am when she spotted the flames.
"I was driving past and it was full of flames," she said looking out to the smoke still emanating from the blaze.
"The fire brigade got there pretty quickly and by the time they got there it was out of control, there was so much smoke it was pretty intense."
A man in his pyjamas was standing outside the property speaking with firefighters, she said.
She believed that constant rain over the past few days had likely stopped the fire from jumping to nearby trees and buildings.
"It's right behind the accommodation and super close to some trees but because there has been so much rain nothing managed to catch fire thankfully."
Phillips said firefighters gained control of the blaze quickly and by 7.30am it was out and being dampened down.
Firefighters were using "positive pressure ventilation fan" to suck the smoke out of the house, he said.
A specialist fire investigator had also been called out to look into the cause of the blaze.