Neighbours who alerted a family to a burning truck in their front yard early yesterday say it was only luck the house didn't burn down.
Brian Hunt was making coffee at 3.30am when he saw the blaze in a bread truck parked outside his house in Kamo, Whangarei.
"By the time I called the fire brigade and got out there, the truck had taken off and was embedded in the house down the street," Hunt said.
"We had to wake them up pretty quick because I thought if this explodes and the house is on fire it will be a tragedy."
It was thought the fire was deliberately lit, and the damage caused the brakes to fail.
Homeowners Jane and Brian Painter were asleep when they heard they truck crash into the front of their lounge.
"I heard this almighty noise and then I could hear the neighbours yelling for us to get out, that the house was on fire," Jane Painter said.
"We went out and the truck had come through the garden and was against the house."
Walls of the house were cracked and windows smashed from the impact and heat of the fire.
Police and fire services were investigating the fire, as well as reports letter boxes in the street had been tampered with. Kirsty Wynn