A family of four has escaped a house fire near Hastings this morning.
The house in Aorangi Rd, Maraekakaho was completely razed by the inferno which tore through the rural residence shortly before 8am.
"The fire was raging," an eyewitness told Hawke's Bay Today.
The family of four, including a 3-year-old and a baby born on Christmas day, were unharmed in the blaze but their dog is missing.
The house has been flattened. All that remains undamaged on the lifestyle property is a clothesline, chicken coop and paddling pool.
Neighbours rallied to help by beating a grass fire threatened nearby houses with wet sacks, containing a grass fire until the fire service arrived.
Five fire units responded after the emergency call was received at 7.54am.
A large tree beside the house caught fire and was felled amid fears it could cause another grass fire downwind.
A fire service spokesman said when they arrived the house could not be saved and the firefighting effort went towards containing the fire in strong winds.
He said a spark from a lawnmower started a small grass fire yesterday and strong overnight winds likely caused the fire "from something smouldering underneath" the house.
The family is staying in Hastings.