Firefighters were quick to the scene of a suspicious Hamilton house fire and able to get it swiftly under control thanks to the sharp reactions of neighbours.

Northern Fire Communications shift manager Megan Ruru said a small fire began in the lounge of the two-storey Old Farm Rd house at about 11pm.

Waikato Fire Safety Officer Ross Fleet said firefighters were able to contain the fire to the downstairs section of the house because of the quick reactions by neighbours who heard the smoke alarms and called 111.

Mr Fleet said the fire caused moderate damage to the laundry, kitchen and lounge areas, which were all in the bottom level of the house.

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Nobody was at home when the fire started.

The fire is being treated as suspicious until he can confirm a cause.