Police and fire safety officers are investigating the cause of a blaze that destroyed an upmarket Auckland home, almost killing the owner.

Heather Bills was rushed to Middlemore Hospital after neighbours braved flames to carry her out of the Rukutai St house in Orakei about 9.45pm on Friday night.

They heard an explosion and screaming inside the house as it went up in flames. Mrs Bills was rescued from an upstairs room in the three-storey home, which is valued at $720,000.

She remains in a stable condition in hospital but suffered extensive burns to her face, body, hands and legs.


She remained in the intensive care unit in a stable condition, a hospital spokeswoman said today.

Mrs Bills lived alone and was the only one there at the time.

Neighbours managed to rescue her two dogs, which are being cared for while she recovers.

The house was cordoned off and it is understood police are keen to speak to Mrs Bills when she is well enough to get more information about what happened.

Jason Dacre, who helped get Mrs Bills out of the house, described the explosion and inferno as being "just like a Hollywood movie".