The cause of a fire which destroyed an Auckland home and crept into a neighbouring property remains undetermined due to the severity of the blaze.
The occupants of the Garton Dr, Massey, home have now lost all of their belongings after the fire erupted just after 2.30pm yesterday.
A young pregnant woman who was home at the time managed to escape by using a ladder.
A friend of the family has since set up a Givealittle page to help raise money who were now devastated by the loss.
"This is a large, hard working Tongan/European family who are devastated with the loss, it all happened so quickly and nothing could be saved, even a car was lost in the fire," the friend wrote on the Givealittle page.
The money would be used to buy everything from food to clothes, furniture and other possessions.
One family member wrote on Facebook that it was his mother's house that had burned down.
"This is a real sad time for our family we have lost everything 15 years of memories and 15 years of my life in that house we have literally lost everything," he wrote.
A gas leak or bottle exploding was understood to be the cause of the loud bang before fire took hold of the house in Garton Dr, Massey.
The fire quickly spread to a neighbouring property that has also been extensively damaged.
Waitemata fire area commander Murray Binning said due to the severity of the damage, it had made investigating the scene "quite difficult".
There were a few theories around where the fire started but there was nothing definitive at this stage.
"We have to be 100 per cent sure that it's caused by something and at this stage [fire investigators] not able to do that."
Binning also ruled out reports from witnesses of an explosion, possibly coming from a gas bottle.
"Often people who haven't seen a house fire before, they're shocked at how quickly a fire can spread. It's probably a fair comment to make that most people have a misunderstanding as to how quickly a fire can develop into a fully-fledged inferno."
The fire was a timely reminder for people to make sure they had working smoke alarms and an escape plan so the occupants can get out safely.
"The key word being working because a lot of people have smoke alarms but their batteries aren't working."
He also confirmed a firefighter received burns to his hand while fighting the blaze.
"He did have firefighting gloves on and we take all injuries to firefighters very seriously and even though it's only minor burns, we will be conducting a full investigation as to what's caused that."
There could be a number of reasons as to why and it didn't necessarily mean the glove had failed, he said.