A barking dog saved a family from serious injury after a suspicious blaze tore through a Lower Hutt house this morning.
Firefighters were called to the blaze at a house on Naenae Rd, Naenae, about 5am.
Detective Constable Mark Sutton of Lower Hutt police said one of the occupants was woken by his dog barking and alerted family members.
The occupants were able to escape without injury but the house, which was not fitted with smoke alarms, was extensively damaged.
Mr Sutton said there was the potential for serious injury or even fatalities if the dog had not woken his owner.
Police are today conducting a scene examination to determine the cause of the fire.