Residents could only watch helplessly as a house was engulfed by flames yesterday.
The house, on Boundary Rd, Hikurangi, above, was well ablaze by the time firefighters got there just after 5pm.
Whangarei Fire Senior Station Officer Paul Ballantine said firefighters were hampered by the lack of water supply.
They were unable to save the two-storey home because of that. The roof had collapsed on the house, with the occupants not home at the time.
A fire investigator will be looking into the cause of the blaze.