A Hawke's Bay contracting company is calling for public help for two of their workers who lost all their possessions in a suspicious fire that gutted their rental property.
Arai Ngawhare and Blair Winyard rented a property beside the railway tracks between Te Awa Ave and State Highway 51 near Awatoto, and fire blazed through it on November 2.
The fire, in a house at the rear of a Te Awa Ave section, opposite Maraenui Golf Course and facing the railway line and the ocean, was alight when the first crews from Fire and Emergency NZ arrived.
A 22-year-old man has since been charged with wilfully setting fire to the property.
The flames could be seen across Napier as firefighters fought initially to protect neighbouring houses, one barely 1.5 metres from the burning home.
The smoke enshrouded Te Awa Ave and the golf course, and also billowed at times across the SH51 (formerly SH2).
The couple, who both work as part of Higgins Contractors "cyclic crew", got out safely because of working smoke alarms.
Higgins contract manager Dale Nicholls said the pair were part of the Higgins Hawke's Bay family and he had set up a Givealittle page to help them get back on their feet.
"Work-wise they are part of the crew which helps in maintaining the state highways around the region, and with traffic management and incidents.
"It is poignant that we assist emergency services and we had to help our own teammates out."
Nicholls said the couple had "lost everything" in the fire and helping them out was the right thing to do.
"Sod's law they never covered personal effects with insurance.
"But they were both extremely lucky to have a working smoke alarm in the house which gave them just enough time to get out safely.
"I was very impressed with the fire service, their victim support team wrapped support around them."
He said, because of the massive loss, the company had also been helping them financially.
"They have since been staying in motels, and moving around temporary accommodation.
"They have been saying they'll be alright but its tough on them financially."
He said people were donating goods for the couple, but while it was a thoughtful thing to do, the first priority was finding them a place to stay.
"The Higgins Hawke's Bay family have all put their hands in their own pockets to contribute as well.
"We have set up the Givealittle page in an effort to assist them financially with the significant cost to re-establish their lives again as a result."