A Wellington family jumped out of a bedroom window to escape a house fire after their smoke alarm woke them up this morning.

The family's Coast Rd home caught alight just before 4am.

The fire started in the lounge, and the house has been extensively damaged.

Wainuiomata senior station officer, Peter Thompson, said the parents grabbed their child before jumping out of a bedroom window.

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Neighbours took in the family and they are being looked after by Victim Support.

Thompson said it reinforced that working smoke alarms do save lives, and highlights the importance of having an escape plan.

The fire was sparked by an "electrical event", Thompson said.