A devastated family have been left to pick through their burnt out belongings after a dehumidifier sparked a fire that gutted their Remuera rental.
Fire crews rushed to their Chatfield Pl home about 10.30am yesterday with distraught family members needed to be supported by neighbours and treated by paramedics.
It's understood a woman at the house told neighbours who rushed to help that her "whole livelihood" was inside the blazing home.
Neighbours later comforted and sheltered the family inside another home so they could have privacy and time to recover.
A Fire and Emergency spokeswoman said a dehumidifier kept "close to flammable materials" caused the blaze.
"It's a reminder to make sure anything flammable is at least one metre away from heat sources (heaters, dehumidifiers, fireplaces)," she said.
The family told nearby neighbours the mother had left it on in a bedroom while popping out of the house.
When she returned home, she smelt smoke and went to investigate.
But upon opening the bedroom door, it's understood she inadvertently fanned the flames that quickly blazed to life.
Her adult son was also home downstairs and understood to have needed treatment for smoke inhalation after going back into the home to search for a pet dog.
The father and daughter were not home at the time, the Herald was told.
St John yesterday confirmed they treated two people in a moderate condition.
One of them was later taken to Auckland City Hospital.
The speed of the fire earlier caught the quiet neighbourhood by surprise.
Fire and Emergency said the home was "well involved in flames" when crews arrived, but after 30 minutes battling the blaze they were able to put it out.
One neighbour smelt the smoke before looking out her window to see it billowing from the family home.
"Then quite quickly the flames started coming out of the [home's] windows and all the windows started smashing in," she said.
"I knew people were in there because I could see their cars."
She called 111 and asked whether she should bang on her neighbour's front door to make sure the family made it out.
But emergency services advised her to avoid the home due to the windows blowing out and because she was caring for a baby that needed to be taken away from the smoke.
Today, the brick rental sat quiet and charred.
Blackened remains where the flames had eaten away at the home's edges and its bedrooms could be seen along with blown-out glass and other debris.
Later, family members began to arrive, forlornly confronting the task of picking the pieces back up.