The house extensively damaged by fire on Christmas Day belonged to the parents of television celebrities Pete and Andy Walker from the reality show The Block NZ.

And Carolle and John Walker reckon their sons could call upon their home rennovation skills to help rebuild the rural family home near Bulls.

Mr and Mrs Walker had arrived at a family Christmas lunch in Feilding when they realised they had left the Christmas presents at home. They contacted son Stephen, who had stayed at the family home in Parewanui Rd to have a sleep, and he took the presents over to Feilding. When he returned home about 75 minutes later, he found the house ablaze.

"The fire had started in that time - it was so fortunate that he wasn't there asleep," Mrs Walker said.

Advertisement

The Walkers returned home and, with their sons, watched fire crews battle the blaze in the house where the family has lived for 30 years.

"We were pretty sure it was a goner so I'm really happy, if you can say that, because there were so many things that didn't happen," Mrs Walker said.

"We're so fortunate that we have our kids and our animals. There is smoke and water damage but we have our photos. I was always 'gunna' put them in albums but they were in a desk in the part of the house they saved. We've retrieved clothes and a lot of stuff that just needs a wash."

Mrs Walker said they were waiting for insurance assessors to complete their work.
"I'm pretty sure that this house will be demolished and we will build a new home but we're waiting on insurance to let us know what they think.

"We'd just completed a kitchen tidy-up and I'd had half a day at my new sink so either way I'll be getting a new kitchen. It's a high stud here and I really didn't want to get on a ladder to wipe the fly poo off the ceiling. I guess it's dark humour but we're looking forward to next year and either building a new house or rebuilding this one.

"For the boys, it's their family home and it's all their memories but a home isn't a dwelling, it's the people in it. I just feel the positives."

Mrs Walker said the community support the family had received was "absolutely incredible".

"We were amazed by the volunteers who gave up their time on Christmas Day to put our fire out. There were nine machines from all over the place and even though they'd had to leave their Christmas dinner no-one begrudged it."

As for her sons' DIY skills, Mrs Walker has some jobs in mind.

"Pete might be able to do some sewing and make me some curtains."

Pete and Andy appeared in season two of The Block NZ, a home renovation reality show, winning the People's Choice Award in 2013.