A smouldering fire under a deck at a house in Waimarama could have easily turned into a house fire, firefighters say.
Emergency services responded to the fire on Tiakitai Rd, just off Waimarama Rd about 6.45pm and it took nearly an hour, and approximately 20 firefighters, to fully extinguish.
Senior Hastings firefighter Allan Brown said Haumoana and Havelock North brigades got to the fire first and turned Hastings back.
"It was established that it was only a cigarette butt that slipped down in between the deck of the house and the grass beneath started to smoulder," Brown said.
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He said the Havelock brigade used a thermal imaging camera to check that the smouldering fire beneath the deck was completely extinguished.
"If the smouldering fire wasn't detected by the home owners it could well have ended up being a house fire.
"The main concern was the smouldering smoke beneath the deck."