A fire has totally destroyed a Welcome Bay house.
The house was a 1950s or 1960s family homestead on Kairua Rd and was believed to be one of the oldest houses in the area.
The first call about the fire was made to 111 at 11.41am, and the person who lived in the house was not home.
Barry Farrell, a cousin and neighbour of the occupant, said the loss of the house was a blow to the family.
"It is sad to see the house is not there anymore," he said.
The outside of the house was done up a few months ago, he said.
The sound of cracking glass alerted Mr Farrell to the fire. He ran inside his home and rang the fire brigade.
The fire was attended first by Papamoa Fire Brigade and later by two crews from Mount Maunganui.
Fire crews used a water tanker to help put the fire out until hoses could be connected to a hydrant about 100m down the road.
Papamoa station officer Jon Gebert said the house was well involved when the brigade arrived.
"It was not saveable, so we just stopped it from spreading."
Three low-pressure hoses and one high-pressure hose were used during the peak of the fire.
Mr Gebert said he was told on arrival that the occupant of the house was not home.