Two teenagers charged with setting fire to a house in south Auckland in which a woman died overnight have been remanded in custody.
The 16-year-old girl and 18-year-old man appeared in Pukekohe Youth Court this afternoon accused of arson of the Wellington Street, Pukekohe, house shortly after midnight.
A 49-year-old woman, who was known to both accused but not related to them, perished in the blaze.
The pair entered no pleas and were remanded until Friday.
Police said they were confident they knew who the woman was but her name would not be released until after a post mortem examination tomorrow.
Police said they had not ruled out more serious charges, including murder or manslaughter.
The girl was arrested several hours after firefighters found the woman's body in the house about 2am today.
The man was arrested early this afternoon.
The fire was believed to have happened after a domestic incident. Police have not said how they believed the fire began.
Police said both teenagers knew the victim but were not related.
The two storied house was burning fiercely when the first fire appliances arrived shortly after 2am today.
Three fire appliances and 20 firefighters fought the fire which badly damaged the bottom floor of the house.
Scott Osmond from the New Zealand Fire Service communications centre said both police and fire safety officers would be investigating the cause of the fire.
He said the fire was reasonably straight forward to fight.
"The ground floor was totally involved," he said.
- NZPA and NZHERALD STAFF