A young Dunedin family has been left homeless after fire destroyed their rented Ravensbourne property yesterday.

Nathan Ladbrook, partner Courtney Mercer-Black and baby Evelyn Ladbrook were lucky to escape the Ravensbourne Rd blaze, which "spread quickly'' from the laundry at the back of the house.

"It got out of hand pretty quick,'' Mr Ladbrook said.

"Within five minutes, it was gusting out the window.


"There was that wee bit of, 'Oh .... , what's happening?'

"I tried getting the garden hose on to it [but] it was still increasing slowly and I thought 'nah'.''

They called the Fire Service and got out of the house.

They had probably lost many of their possessions from the property, where they had lived for five months, Mr Ladbrook said.

"It's obviously spread throughout the house. We'll have to buy all our stuff again. Clothes and things. Baby clothes. I don't think we'll be able to live there anymore.''

They would stay with a family member for the next few days, Mr Ladbrook said.

Ravensbourne Volunteer Fire Brigade chief fire officer Ross Bryant said there was 80% damage to the house and it was unliveable.

"The back half of the house, a bedroom, laundry and toilet, were gutted and the rest is smoke damaged,'' Mr Bryant said.

He confirmed the fire started in the laundry and smoke detectors were installed.

A cause had not been established.

"The message is, if you find a fire get out ... and call 111.''