A young Gisborne family left homeless by a house fire on Wednesday are overwhelmed by the outpouring of community support.
Pauline Keepa and Thomas Wilson, and their two children, escaped with only the clothes they were wearing after their Rata St home was completely destroyed by fire.
A clothes rack left too close to an unguarded fire in the lounge is suspected to have started the blaze just before 1am.
The house was a private rental, there were no smoke alarms installed and the family had no insurance.
But by yesterday afternoon they had beds, a washing machine, fridge, pots, clothes and toys for the children.
"We cannot get over how the whole community is coming together to offer us stuff - it's overwhelming," Miss Keepa, 21, said.
"It has made me not feel stressed and worried anymore.
"After all of this is done we will be writing a big thank you letter to all who have helped us."
The family had received about 20 phone calls from people offering donations and support, with still more coming in.
"The radio station phoned this morning and the parents from my daughter's kohanga reo have been amazing. I'm just buzzing out trying to wrap my head around how generous people have been."
Mr Wilson, 21, suffered minor burns to his face, neck and arms as he rescued their four-year-old daughter from the lounge where she was sleeping. Miss Keepa escaped with their one-year-old son.
Senior fire safety officer Derek Goodwin said the family were "incredibly lucky" to make it out alive.
It highlighted the importance of having working smoke alarms, an escape route and to always follow the "metre-heater" rule when drying clothes in front of fires or hot appliances.
A family in Tokomaru Bay, on the East Coast north of Gisborne, have also been inundated with support them since a fire destroyed their home two weeks ago.
"We had nothing but now we have a house to start filling up with gifts of love," said Karen Pewhairangi.
She was sitting in an evening church service for her cousin who had passed away when she heard the fire sirens go off.
"It went off during the karakia and it went for a long, long, time - we all knew someone's house was burning."
Ms Pewhairangi said they left the marae and everyone could see a huge glow coming from the end of her street.
"I got that sinking feeling in my stomach - everyone in the bay could see the huge glow. Then my phone rang and my neighbour was saying, 'Cuz, your house is on fire'.
"The girls were crying but I told them 'it's OK, we're safe'."
They had been living in the house for only four months and it was almost completely gutted by the blaze.
It did have smoke alarms but no one was home at the time. The family lost everything, including their "mother cat" who loved sleeping on the couch by the fire.
A spark, or a log rolling out of the fire, had ignited carpet or a chair in front of the fireplace.
Tokomaru Bay couple Jan and Bill Hughes took the family into their bed and breakfast, and have been letting them stay free of charge for the past two weeks.
Today, Ms Pewhairangi and three of her six children move back into a home they were in before they rented the house that was destroyed.
"It's familiar for the children and not so traumatic because we lived there for over three years."
The family did have insurance.
"I've got the most precious things, which are me and my children, and we just take one day at a time really.
" The generosity, support and love has been so overwhelming that it lessens the loss. It's the little things like getting bags of clothes for the children and seeing their faces light up."
Ms Pewhairangi has been in contact with the young couple whose house burned down on Wednesday.
"I felt really sad for them because it has been quite difficult for me to look at the charred remains of our home."
- The Gisborne HeraldBy Sophie Rishworth of the Gisborne Herald