A Tauranga mother is still reeling after fire nearly destroyed the home she and five of her children had been living in overnight.

The woman, who asked not to be named, said she had only just moved into the Lawrence St home in Gate Pa on Monday. She was still in the process of moving in at 4.37am when fire ripped through the property's garage and spread into the house - where her children slept.

A firefighters makes his way through the living area of a house damaged by fire overnight. Photo/Kiri Gillespie
A firefighters makes his way through the living area of a house damaged by fire overnight. Photo/Kiri Gillespie

The rental has suffered significant damage but smoke alarms sounded in enough time to alert the family inside to evacuate. The garage was destroyed.

I don't care about the house, just care about my babies.

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Standing on the street this morning, the woman was still digesting what happened.

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"I was up the road, coming down the hill when I got the call and saw. I was just hoping my babies were alright. I don't care about the house, just care about my babies."

Fire burned through a house in Gate Pa, Tauranga, this morning and significantly damaged the main living area of the home. Photo/Kiri Gillespie
Fire burned through a house in Gate Pa, Tauranga, this morning and significantly damaged the main living area of the home. Photo/Kiri Gillespie

The woman said her children were fine, some a little excited.

"They were all out of there. My daughter had seen the flames. They've got a big story to tell today."

A neighbour to the property, who also would not be named, said he woke to the sound of banging and cracking and knew it was fire.

When he looked there were already people outside and on their phones to emergency services, he said.

Fire burned through a house in Gate Pa, Tauranga, this morning and significantly damaged the main living and kitchen area of the home. Photo/Kiri Gillespie
Fire burned through a house in Gate Pa, Tauranga, this morning and significantly damaged the main living and kitchen area of the home. Photo/Kiri Gillespie

Fire communications shift manager Daniel Nicholson said the house was fully ablaze when firefighters arrived.

"We've extinguished the fire and are currently dampening it down," Nicholson said this morning.

A fire investigator is at the scene to determine what caused the blaze.

Early indications are the fire was caused by an electrical fault.

Fire burned through a house in Gate Pa, Tauranga, this morning and significantly damaged the main living area of the home. Photo/Kiri Gillespie
Fire burned through a house in Gate Pa, Tauranga, this morning and significantly damaged the main living area of the home. Photo/Kiri Gillespie

Firefighters were also called to a fire at a house in Mount Maunganui shortly after midnight.

The fire was contained to the Ranch Rd home's kitchen area.

Firefighters ventilated the house and spoke to the home's occupants about fire safety.