A Christchurch family are devastated after a fire ripped through their "dream home" just hours after they took the keys and moved in.

Georgia Scott, 37, and Michael Rodgers, 35, and their children Sienna, 2, and 3-year-old Finley waited five weeks to finally move in to their "quarter-acre dream" home on Port Hills Rd, Heathcote, at around 1pm yesterday.

They'd put the children to bed and were putting their own bed together after 9pm when they were alerted to beeping.

Mr Rodgers, a plasterer, thought it was the new home's security alarm.

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But when he went to check, he saw through the light fittings that the roof space was "glowing".

He shouted, "Fire!" and they grabbed their sleeping children and raced outside.
They could see the flames under the roof tiles.

Four fire crews rushed to the scene to put out the fire.

Today, the family were waiting for their insurers to visit and to work out what to do next.

They say the blaze highlights the need to have smoke alarms in every room.

"It's all just bricks and mortar, it's a cliche, but at least everyone is safe," said Ms Scott.

"An hour later we'd all have been sound asleep. It was absolutely terrifying. We're just so lucky.

"It's not something you expect to happen, especially on the day you move in."

They stayed with neighbours, whom they'd never met, and were very grateful to them.

Today they are trying to organise rental accommodation.

Mr Rodgers said they got "a really good property check" before they moved in.

"What more can you do?" he asked.

"It just goes to show that everyone should have smoke alarms in every room. They should even be in loft spaces.

"It looks like this was smouldering for some time."