The Waipapa man who lost everything in a house fire over the weekend is grateful for "truckloads of community support".
Fire investigators are still trying to establish the cause of the fire which razed the rural home on Kirikiri Lane, off Sandys Rd on the outskirts of Kerikeri, on Saturday morning.
The home was completely destroyed in the blaze.
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Its owner Steve, who didn't want his surname published, said he had gone to a neighbour's home on Saturday morning, spotted smoke, and rushed back to find his house on fire.
"We saw some smoke and I knew I wasn't burning any rubbish so there shouldn't have been any smoke," he said.
"So we hightailed it up to my house. Within minutes it wasn't just smoke anymore, it was big flames.
"I ran to get the hose and started squirting the house but kept getting pushed back (by the heat and flames) and the fire got huge."
The house was "well-involved" by the time several local fire crews arrived at around 10.40am. They battled the blaze for 90 minutes.
By the time it was extinguished only a burned out shell remained.
Fire and Emergency NZ specialist fire investigator Jason Goffin said he was still investigating the cause of the fire.
Steve, who is staying at a neighbour's house, said he was insured, but had lost "almost everything" in the fire.
"The whole day was quite a blur. I managed to save a bit of my stuff but not much – I've lost almost everything."
A boarder who also lived in the house, lost her belongings as well.
"Her boyfriend was going to be moving in so she had some of his stuff there as well."
Steve said his neighbours and the community have been a huge support since the incident.
"I'm getting community support in truckloads. The neighbours are fantastic, it's a really good community out here.
"I had neighbours I didn't even know existed turn up with thermos flasks of soup and all sorts."
Goffin is also investigating a house fire on Price Rd in Springfield, near Ruakākā, which happened at 8.15pm on Friday.
The family evacuated after being alerted by smoke alarms.
Goffin said that blaze was caused by a fireplace, and he reminded residents to dispose of hot ashes in a metal bucket.
There was another fire over the weekend which caused "significant damage" to a home in Matakohe.
Fire crews were called to the house at 2.15pm on Sunday after a fire, caused by an overheated ride-on mower, spread from the carport to the house.
The occupants managed to get out of their home safely due to working smoke alarms, Goffin said.
Winter fire safety tips
Clean chimneys and flues before the first fire of the season
Always use a fireguard when using an open fire
Never throw rubbish into the fireplace
Replace your electric blanket every five years with safer heat-protected models
Make sure the blanket is always flat on the bed and that controls or cords are not twisted
Keep flammable materials at least one metre away from any heat source
Don't overload clothes dryers
Ensure you've got working smoke alarms