A spark created during a routine heat pump installation has left a Waikato couple homeless after their home burnt to the ground.

Waikato fire and emergency safety officer Kevin Holmes says there is nothing left of the rural Te Awamutu home after the blaze began just before midday today.

Holmes said two contractors were at the Thompson Rd home, about five minutes north of Te Awamutu, installing a heat pump. As part of the installation the workmen had to do some welding on copper piping.

"He has been welding and a spark from the welding has got into the insulation, and it's ignited the insulation around the copper piping and it has burnt through the brick wall and into the building's lining, and it's just travelled up the internal framing and into the ceiling."


The fire then quickly spread the length of the home, burning it to the ground.

Holmes said the contractors noticed smoke about 10 to 15 minutes after finishing the welding and tried to put it out but it was too late.

"There's quite a strong wind out here. A strong northerly wind and it's gone through the whole house."

The homeowners were not home at the time.

He said it was a sad situation for all involved.

"It's a horrible thing for everyone concerned. Not only for the contractor but the homeowner. It's a pure accident. [The fire] has just gone through the whole home, from one end to the other."