A pile of hot laundry left on top of a dryer was the likely cause of a fire which destroyed a Hamilton house, leaving a pregnant woman and her family of seven with nothing.

The Odette St, Melville, house is now just a charred, skeletal remain after the blaze on Sunday night.

Waikato fire risk management officer Peter Hallett said it was difficult to be determinitative of the cause as the family only saw the dryer on fire, but said it was possibly caused by a pile of hot clothes sitting on top of the dryer and spontaneously combusting.