A fire safety investigator is reminding Northlanders to get their fireplaces checked regularly after a home was gutted following a blaze which started in the chimney.

Four fire engines from Paihia and Kawakawa were called to a house fire in Taumatamakuku Settlement, east of Moerewa, just before 8pm on Saturday but when crews arrived the home was fully engulfed in flames.

Fire investigator Craig Bain said neighbours raised the alarm after they saw smoke coming from the three-bedroom 1940s bungalow.

Mr Bain was at the property investigating the cause of the fire yesterday. He said the home was burnt to the ground.

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"It was totalled. Most likely it was a fire in the chimney which spread to the roof. The occupants were away at the time. They'd stoked the fire before going out for dinner," he said.

Mr Bain said it was a reminder for people to get fireplaces checked.

"People should get their fireplaces checked regularly, especially flues, for potential gaps where the heat can get through," he said.

Mr Bain also said firewood and paper should be stored away from the fireplace, which the occupants of the home had done.