Fire authorities are investigating a suspicious fire that destroyed a Rangiuru home yesterday.
Firefighters were still dampening hotspots last night after the fire ripped through the Bay of Plenty house.
Emergency services were called to the McMeeking Rd property, Te Puke, shortly before 3.30pm.
The smoke was just so thick and black. It was quite scary to see something like that close to home.
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They arrived to find a 180sq m single-storey three-bedroom wooden home and a car on the property well ablaze.
Rangiuru resident Marama Rice said she saw smoke billowing across the countryside after she picked her children up from school yesterday.
"We just saw all this thick black smoke coming up from the road, and I just thought 'God, I hope that is not somebody's house'.
"The smoke was just so thick and black.
"It was quite scary to see something like that close to home."
Ms Rice said they could smell smoke from the blaze all afternoon from her house a few kilometres away.
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Fire investigator John Rewi told the Bay of Plenty Times last night the fire was being treated as suspicious.
"There are no water supplies out here and it would take the fire brigade 10 or 15 minutes to get here.
"A house can totally destruct in six minutes and it was going everywhere when the crews got here."
Mr Rewi confirmed no one was in the house or hurt by the fire.
He believed it belonged to a family trust.