A broken wire to a bedside lamp has been determined as the cause of a fire that significantly damaged a Rotorua house- prompting a warning to get older appliances checked out.

The fire happened on Petrie St last Wednesday morning.

Specialist fire investigator Stuart Bootten told the Rotorua Daily Post he had found the cause to be a broken wire to a bedside lamp, which had caused arcing that created the heat to ignite the fire.

"There's certainly a message in that electrical appliances need to be maintained in a really good working condition, especially the older appliances."

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Mr Bootten said older appliances needed to be rigorously checked by a qualified electrician.

He also said, if they hadn't been already, smoke alarms should be installed and people should ensure they were working correctly.

People should also have a home escape plan in place, he said.

No one was inside the house when the fire happened. It was contained to the bedroom, and one crew with one high-pressure hose was able to put it out.