A Fire Safety investigator is urging smokers to ensure they put out their cigarettes, even when smoking outside, after a discarded butt caused extensive damage to a Raumanga home this week.
Fire investigator Craig Bain said thankfully all the occupants of the home, on Raumanga Heights Dr, got out before it was gutted by fire on Monday, but his investigations have uncovered the cause - a discarded cigarette butt outside the home.
Mr Bain said it was a timely reminder for smokers to make sure they properly extinguished their smokes, even outside.
"It looks like the cigarette butt has been discarded and gone into a cardboard box containing firewood that was kept under the steps outside the house," he said.
"These days a lot of people don't want to smoke in their homes so go outside, which is great, but they also need to make sure that they dispose of their cigarette butts properly, don't just flick them away, even if outside."
Mr Bain said smokers should dispose of their butts in a tin, preferably with a lid, to prevent the risk of the butt setting something else alight.
"The occupants did everything right after they became aware of the fire and got out as quickly as they could. Smoke alarms were fitted, which helped, but the fire was well involved by the time we arrived and the house was badly damaged," he said.
While the fire started outside, smoke went into the house via open windows and that set the smoke alarms off, although an occupant had raised the alarm.
Mr Bain also thanked the neighbours who rang 111.