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An electrical fault is being blamed for a major house fire on Auckland's the North Shore this morning.

Fire crews were called to the address on Exmouth Rd in Northcote just before 9am where the ground floor of a two storey house was well alight, Birkenhead station officer Shane Doughty said.

He said that a top floor occupant noticed smoke coming from the behind the dishwasher. He pulled it aside and realised the smoke was actually rising through the floorboards. He escaped unharmed.

It took two machines from Birkenhead and Ponsonby stations about 30 minutes to extinguish the blaze. One truck remained at the scene dampening any hot-spots.

The ground floor of the house was significantly damaged and was now uninhabitable, Mr Doughty said.

Fire safety officers would be investigating the cause of the blaze but it appeared an electrical fault was to blame, he said.

There were no smoke alarms in the house.

- NZPA