A mother and her 2-year-old child had a lucky escape from their burning home in Ranfurly this morning.

The child had woken its mother and she discovered the house was on fire, Ranfurly chief fire officer James Hazlett said. The hallway was in flames so the pair had to escape to safety through a bedroom window.

"They were checked over by ambulance staff and were fine, although shaken,'' Mr Hazlett said.

The initial concern when firemen arrived at the Thomas St house, was that another occupant - a man, might have been still inside sleeping on a sofa, and firefighters wearing breathing apparatus searched the home for him.


However, fears for his safety were allayed when the man turned up at the site about 10 minutes after the firefighters and explained he had been at work.

However, a dog at the house had been severely burnt in the fire and had to be put down, Mr Hazlett said.

A fire safety investigator will examine the scene this afternoon and try to establish the cause of the fire.

Sixteen firefighters, crews from Ranfurly and Naseby volunteer brigades, brought the fire under control and spent two hours at the scene.

The house, an older wooden villa, was gutted in the blaze.