A blaze has gutted a Tauranga home this evening, with heat so intense it nearly set the neighbouring house on fire.
Fire crews were called to the house fire on Greerton Rd in Tauranga at 7.21pm.
The house, which is next to Greerton Library, was "fully involved" when the brigade arrived, northern fire communications shift manager Daniel Nicholson said
Four fire appliances were sent to the scene. Crews are still working to dampen down the smoking remains of the blaze.
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"All the occupants are accounted for and no one is injured," he said.
A neighbour, who did not want to be named, said the tenant were not aware their home was on fire.
"The next-door neighbour spotted some weird glow coming from the bedroom and they jumped over the fence and alerted the guys inside. They were in the front of the house in the lounge," she said.
"By the time the fire crew got there it had virtually gone from the middle bedroom right along the side of the house and melted the spouting on the house behind them and smashed their windows," she said.
The heat was "very, very intense", the neighbour said. "If they had been five minutes later that place could have gone up as well."
She said the air is still filled with toxic, strange-smelling smoke, possibly due to the polystyrene insulation in the house's walls.
The house is "gutted" and the landlord has indicated he does not plan to rebuild it, she said.