A Remuera house ravaged in a suspicious fire this morning has been completely destroyed and now resembles a "skeleton", an eyewitness says.
Fire crews are at the scene of a the Auckland blaze that destroyed a two-storey flat housing seven people.
The seven occupants at the two flats on Bassett Rd, Remuera, escaped without injury but the building itself was destroyed, a Fire and Emergency New Zealand spokesman said.
Bassett Rd is closed, and part of Remuera Rd was down to one lane earlier this morning.
Because of the size of the building, FENZ had earlier upgraded its responses and now 12 fire crews were on site looking to dampen down the remaining fires.
The blaze first broke out in the large two-storey house about 3.30am this morning and it did not pose a risk to surrounding properties.
Fire and Emergency has asked police to investigate how the fire started, Radio New Zealand has reported.
Ryan Subritzky lives in Arney Rd about two minutes away from the affected property and said the structure was now a "skeleton".
He said he usually went for a morning walk around 7am but he got a message from a colleague about a fire near his house.
He stepped outside and the first thing he noticed was the smell of burning wood.
He walked around to find the house destroyed.
"It is just a skeleton, the only thing you can recognise is a concrete screen fence."
He said there were a few people huddled outside the building draped in emergency blankets.