A family fled their burning Hastings home tonight as a fire ripped through their laundry and kitchen.

Carlos Houia, who was in the house across the road on Cambridge St, came out of the shower and heard some sort of yelling so ran to the window.

"I saw small flames in the kitchen across the road and then watched it get higher and higher before it suddenly blew up and smashed the front windows."

He said he could hear the bits and pieces flying around and "blowing up".

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Mr Houia alerted the household and watched the couple across the road grab their two toddlers and run out of the burning house.

Indiana Houia came running from Jervois St and said she called the Fire Service as she was running.

"I could not get my words out I kept saying 'fire, fire' before I managed to actually say 'fire truck.' It caught me off guard but I found out I was the fourth person to call."

Senior station officer Bruno Saathof, said two fire engines from Hastings and one from Napier responded to the call out at 8.45pm this evening.

"We contained the fire quickly and we are in the process of determining the cause."

Mr Saathof believed the fire started in the laundry area and moved to the kitchen.

"The damage is fairly extensive through those areas but there working smoke alarms alerted the family so they were able to evacuate with no injuries."

Mr Saathof said the smoke alarms meant there was no loss of life or injury and allowed them to salvage some of the house from the fire early.