Teuila Fuatai is a reporter for the NZ Herald

Albany family home ablaze 'in minutes'

Fire crews battle the blaze at Albany. Photo / SNPA
Fire crews battle the blaze at Albany. Photo / SNPA

An Auckland family's home has been gutted by fire just six months after they moved in.

Neighbours of the Albany property on Dairy Flat Highway were out for a late-night coffee when they noticed the hill-top home engulfed in flames on Saturday.

Angela and Nigel Thompson, who live next door, said the owners moved in at the end of last year.

Mr Thompson said he and his wife spotted the flames from the bottom of their drive, about 200m away.

The couple, who did not know the owners, called the Fire Service just after 10pm before heading to the property.

"We went round to check that there was ... nobody there. It was gutted. It was well and truly ablaze within minutes," he said.

The house was sometimes used as a wedding venue and was surrounded by a white picket fence, he said.

Emergency services remained at the property throughout the night and were investigating the incident.

A Fire Service spokesman said no one was inside or injured in the blaze.

In a video advertisement for the home, which Mr Thompson said was posted by the previous owner, it is described as a five-bedroom colonial-style house with four ensuites, walk-in wardrobes and two dining and lounge areas.

The 2011 video said the house was 12 years old, with a floor space of 460sq m and a land area of 3.2ha.


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