Anthony Caldwell initially thought the sound of items smashing on the top floor was from his drunk flatmates. Instead, it was a fire, ravaging part of their Coverdale St house.
"I heard more smashing and then rapid footsteps down the stairs ... and I heard one of my flatmates yelling 'call 111' so I thought maybe someone had rolled down the stairs and hurt themselves.
"Then one of my flatmates burst into my room and said 'Ant you need to get out, there's a fire' and we got out of bed and sprinted outside.
"It looked like almost the whole top floor was ablaze," Caldwell said, less than 24 hours after the incident.
Four fire trucks attended the blaze at 3.11am on Saturday morning.
"I was just freaking out, mostly because I didn't want to lose my house, and I didn't want to lose any of my stuff."
Caldwell lived on the bottom floor of the two-storey house with one other, while their two other flatmates lived on the top floor - they lost everything.
None of them had insurance. In the hours since the blaze, they have had offers of accommodation, financial support and prayers.
The 22-year-old is now staying with his grandparents but has already found another place to live.
He hasn't spoken to his flatmates since the fire and doesn't know what their living situation is now.
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All of the occupants were renting and had lived there for about two years.
Caldwell returned to the property later on Saturday to collect his belongings.
They were told by the insurance assessors, that once they had moved what was left of their personal items, they should not go back into the house.
Caldwell says they don't know what caused the fire.
Fire communications shift manager Murray Dunbar said the house which is "severely damaged", is being investigated by a specialist Fire and Emergency NZ fire investigator.
Caldwell says he just wants to forget it happened.
"I'm going to try to get back to my regular schedule, so everything goes back to normal because that's what I want the most - just for things to go back to how they were."