Fireworks let off from a moving car have been blamed for sparking a near tragedy after a Tauranga house caught fire.

Firefighters spent Thursday night battling a fire that had taken hold of a Bethlehem house and are now warning people who might still have fireworks to take greater care with them.

The fire was called in about 10pm as the family inside prepared for bed.

The family noticed the fire and began calling for help. A neighbour dialled 111 and another grabbed the garden hose and began hosing the fire down.

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Tauranga's fire risk management officer Luke Burgess said it looked as though fireworks started the fire, which created significant damage to the exterior wall of the house.

Mr Burgess said the incident ''definitely could have'' been a tragedy.

''It's very lucky that it was discovered as early as it was with early action from the neighbour, who saved what could have been a much worse situation.''

Mr Burgess said the message around safety with fireworks was paramount, ''particularly leading into the drier part of the year''.

It is understood a car was seen being driven down the road with the occupants letting off fireworks.