A family with five children are looking for a new home after their house was destroyed in a large fire over the weekend.

The family's dogs, two pet chihuahuas, also had a narrow escape.

The Smith family, of Paremoremo, were downstairs on Saturday night when they heard funny noises coming from upstairs.

Samantha Smith said: "We were sitting in the lounge and we heard what sounded like rain falling. It's a multi-level house ... and we just heard that coming from the upstairs and it was like: 'Why is the shower on?'

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"My mum and my husband went upstairs to see if someone was there. From downstairs, I just heard my mum screaming in the most terrifying voice: 'Fire! Everybody get out'!''

Smith grabbed a fire extinguisher they kept at home and gave it to her stepfather, who ran it up to his son-in-law.

The remains of the Smith family home in Paremoremo. Photo / Supplied
The remains of the Smith family home in Paremoremo. Photo / Supplied

But it was too late.

"By the time my husband grabbed the fire extinguisher - he turned around and the fire was just way too big to even try to put out.

"He gave it a go but it was just out of control at that point. They just yelled out: 'Everybody get out of the house, get the kids'!''

A Givealittle page has been set up to help the family, who did not have insurance.

The children are aged from 4 to 15 years old. One of their boys, Chase, celebrated his 8th birthday the next day.

His birthday present - a bike - was later found completely charred.

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Samantha and her husband Sam sprinted outside with their children; as well as Samantha's mother and stepfather. Her mother had been staying at their house as she is in the process of selling her home.

"By the time we got out of the house ... we looked back and the whole top level was just roaring.

The charred remains of a photo album at the Smith family home in Paremoremo. Photo / Supplied
The charred remains of a photo album at the Smith family home in Paremoremo. Photo / Supplied

"All you could hear was cracking, shattering, smashing and banging.''

The blaze happened at 9pm - just as a meteor was seen whizzing over Paremoremo, as the family would find out afterwards from neighbours.

"By 9.20pm, the whole [top] level was gone - just ash - and the bottom level was just one pool of debris, water and soot.''

It was only then the family noticed that their two chihuahua dogs were missing.

As firefighters fought to control the blaze, a plea was made for crew members to check the back deck, where the dogs usually were inside a basket.

They were later found, alive, inside the basket underneath a blanket.

Staff at the Auckland Operational Support volunteer fire brigade said the discovery was made when a torch-beam reflected off one of the dogs' eyes.

"A ladder was quickly erected up the outside and one of our members went up and, one by one, passed the dogs down to the arms of greatly relieved owners,'' staff said.

Charred remains: The Smith family home in Paremoremo. Photo / Supplied
Charred remains: The Smith family home in Paremoremo. Photo / Supplied

Members of the local community have rallied to help the family, who are now staying with friends.

Smith thanked everyone who had offered their support - both financially and emotionally, since they lost their house.

"The community has been incredible. Thank you so much.''

The family, who were renting, are now looking for a new home.