The cause of a blaze which extensively damaged a Pyes Pa home remains a mystery.
Three fire crews from Greerton, Tauranga and Mount Maunganui attended the Grantston Drive fire shortly after 2.15pm on Thursday after a neighbour called emergency services.
Nobody was home when the fire started.
Tauranga fire investigator Bill Rackham said he would be assisted in his investigation by fire officer Roger Pinkerton. "We will be here as long as it takes but it's far too early to say what caused the fire, and too early to even speculate on the cause," he said.
"We're exploring all possibilities. It's tragic for both the tenants and the owner."
Mr Rackham said the house had sustained major damage.
"There is significant heat and smoke damage throughout. The fire basically gutted the master bedroom and living area. The fire also travelled up into the roof, and about 75 per cent of the roof space has also suffered major damage."
Most of the tenants' personal items were lost in the areas affected, he said.
Mr Rackham said the house was unsafe to enter, and he and Mr Pickett had to wear protective clothing to help the tenants recover a few valuables.
One of the tenants, who did not wish to be named, said she and her partner had rented the property for about four to five years and were insured.
"This was not a life or death situation, I'm fine. At the end of the day it's only things," the woman said.
Insurance assessors were expected to have visited the property yesterday.