A young family who had only recently moved to the Mid North have lost everything they owned in a house fire.
The blaze — thought to have been caused by a cellphone charger which was left switched on — broke out just after 10am on Ripi St, Kaikohe, and spread quickly into the roof cavity and through the weatherboard house.
Kaikohe fire chief Bill Hutchinson said the house had been rented by a woman who had only moved to Kaikohe a few months ago.
Her brother and two children also lived at the address though no one was home when the fire broke out.
''It's a sad story. They've lost pretty much everything, including the kids' toys and a brand new TV,'' he said.
''They'd not long moved to Kaikohe so they don't have family or a support structure in town. She's just started at The Warehouse so they've wrapped some support around the family.''
The fire was put out by two fire crews from Kaikohe and one from Ōkaihau. The Kerikeri brigade was also called out but was not needed.
The fire had started in a bedroom but the cause was not immediately clear.
The damage didn't look too severe from the outside but inside the house was gutted. It was also structurally damaged and dangerous with concrete roofing tiles dropping through the ceiling.
Fire investigator Craig Bain said the most likely cause of the fire, which had started in a bedroom, was a cellphone charger.
It appeared it had been left switched on with the cable resting on some bedclothes.
It was a reminder to always switch off and unplug chargers once the phone, or other electrical item, had been charged.
Bain agreed it was a sad incident.
''It's a young family, trying to get on in the world, and they've lost just about everything.''