A couple from Whatawhata, near Hamilton, threw mattresses and clothes out of their house as a fire, which started in their garage, threatened to engulf the rest of the property.
Lockerbie Lane resident James was on his way to Cambridge about 10am yesterday when he saw smoke bellowing from the back of his neighbour's double garage.
The 22-year-old salesman stopped and ran into the house to wake the couple. They started throwing mattresses and other possessions from their deck on to a paddock before the fire moved to the house.
The home owner's boyfriend tried to fight the fire with a garden hose while they waited for the Fire Service to arrive.
"By the time we got the hose on it [the flames] were coming out the door about 10ft [3.1m]," James said.
The flames started to move on to the back wall of the house but Hamilton senior station fire officer Daryl Trim said the Fire Service managed to get it under control before it did any major damage to the house.
Mr Trim said had there been smoke alarms the occupants would have been given an earlier warning. Fire investigators were trying yesterday to determine the cause of the fire.