A Far North man has lost everything he owned in a house fire at a remote location firefighters had little hope of reaching in time.
The occupant of the large homestead in the Pawarenga Valley, on the west coast between Hokianga and Ahipara, went out for the evening and got home about 1.40am on Friday to discover it was on fire.
Kaitaia deputy fire chief Craig Rogers said three fire appliances and a tanker responded from Kaitaia, Ahipara and Kohukohu, but when they arrived the house was burning fiercely from end to end and on the point of collapse.
Fire crews set up a water supply from a nearby river and a water tank to put out the blaze.
The volunteers got back to Kaitaia at 7.15am yesterday, just in time to go to work.
Fire investigator Roy Brickell, of Whangarei, said the fire started in the kitchen area but he was unable to pinpoint the cause with any certainty.
None of the belongings in the house could be salvaged.
He urged people to be careful about making sure everything was turned off before heading out of the house, especially if they lived in a remote area.