A man and two children fled for their lives when their home went up in flames in the Hastings suburb of Flaxmere yesterday.
The 20-year-old man, eight-year-old boy and four-year-old girl were admitted to hospital suffering from suspected smoke inhalation.
Firefighters arrived at the Raleigh Place houses about 2.15pm, where a neighbour was keeping the fire at bay with a garden hose, senior station officer Bruno Saathof told Hawke's Bay Today.
The rented property suffered extensive damage.
Neighbours said the family was now staying with relatives.