A grandfather raced into a burning home to rescue his 3-year-old grandson.

Builder Mohammed Sattar was just about to leave his Cobham Cres home in Kelston yesterday morning when he and son Muktar heard a window explode and saw flames in his house.

"We were just leaving, waiting in the van," Mohammed Sattar said as he surveyed the wreckage of the rental home.

He and his son rushed back to save their family. "We were just trying to save the kids - the two babies and the mum were inside when the fire started. We could not help anything. It's so fast," he said.


"The glass - I saw it explode," a family friend said. "The father and the son were outside. In the lounge downstairs there was fire, huge fire. And they were upstairs. So they just managed to escape," he added.

Sattar's daughter-in-law, Isha, and 1-year-old grandson, Mohammed Ayan, made it out of the house safely.

Sattar grabbed 3-year-old Mohammed Ariz.

All were all unharmed, but the blaze destroyed their house in minutes.

Sattar said his wide-eyed elder grandson was too young to know what had happened.

The fire broke out at 8.15am. Virtually everything was destroyed in the house - except for a few holy books. Some of Sattar's building tools were also ruined.

It is understood the owner of the property had been informed and was trying to help with emergency accommodation.

Family friend Tazib Hussein said he hoped the community, including the Fiji Indian and Muslim communities, would help Sattar and his family.

Ninety minutes after the fire broke out, the house still smouldered and the smell of burning wood filled the air.

At least 18 firefighters from the Henderson, Avondale and Te Atatu stations were at the scene with five fire engines and two support vehicles. The road was blocked to civilian traffic.

Yesterday evening, northern fire communications acting shift manager Craig Dally said investigators confirmed there were no suspicious circumstances behind the blaze.

However, the actual cause had yet to be confirmed.

People who wish to help the Sattar family should call Kelston Muslim Youth Group's Tazib Hussein on 021-207-7618.