The cause of a blaze that destroyed a Paengaroa home over the weekend was due to an accidental small fire, says Tauranga fire investigator Jon Rewi.
Maketu and Te Puke fire crews responded to numerous 111 calls after a report of fire at a single-storey two-bedroom home in Showground Rd just before 7.30pm on Saturday.
Mr Rewi told the Bay of Plenty Times that a man inside noticed a small fire near his garage and put it out with a jug of water, then left the property to go to work.
"Unfortunately it wasn't completely out and the smouldering fire grew into something more substantial, and when fire crews arrived the house was well involved," he said.
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Mr Rewi said the fire may have possibly been started by a dropped cigarette but it was an accidental fire which had dire consequences for the occupants.
"They lost everything, and I don't believe they were insured," he said.
Mr Rewi said there were also no smoke alarms installed in the house.
The key big message here was to always ring 111 in the event of any fire, and ensure all properties were fitted with smoke alarms, he said.
"Some people think they are being a big nuisance or it will cost them a lot if they fire service, attends which is incorrect. No one is being a nuisance, that's what we're here for."
Mr Rewi said more than 15 fire fighters from Maketu and Te Puke had put their lives on the line trying to save the victims' home and possessions.