A young couple are grieving for their three-month-old puppy who was killed when their house caught fire in West Auckland.
Emir Sert and Angela Matti are working with fire investigators this week to try to figure out what started the tragic Henderson blaze that killed their dog Stella.
Sert, 24, said he had been out for about two hours yesterday when he arrived home to find firefighters in his Swanson Rd driveway.
"As I was pulling into my driveway I saw a big fire engine also pulling into the driveway," Sert said.
"We live in a complex with 21 houses, so I didn't think anything of it. I walked down the driveway and someone said: 'Oh, it's your house'."
The family home the couple had shared for nearly nine months was engulfed in flames.
Sert said his thoughts immediately went to their beloved pup Stella who was inside the home during the blaze.
The couple were absolutely devastated by what had happened, Sert said.
"I left her in the lounge...and the lounge was the worst hit," he said.
Matti said they never left the pup alone for longer than two hours.
In her short life, Stella had brought them so much happiness, she said.
"She was just sleeping like an angel in her crate when the smoke got her," she said.
"I just wish I could have protected her.
"We took her to her first puppy preschool the night before and she was doing so well."
It was a freak accident, she said.
"It just seems unimaginable. I'm just a bit numb to be honest."
The pressure was so great inside the house all the windows had exploded, she said.
Sert said firefighters had yet to say exactly what caused the blaze and they too did not know what may have triggered it.
It was believed it started on the deck in the backyard before making its way through the home, he said.
"The neighbours said they heard and saw an explosion," he said.
The couple recently brought on a flatmate, who was with Sert at the time of the blaze.
Sert said the home belonged to his parents and it was the house he grew up in. However, they had since passed it on to him and his partner to start a new life in.
"We've literally lost everything. We could salvage like two bags with some stuff.
"We had some photos in the spare room that got a little bit of damage...and everything else was either caught in the fire or caught in the smoke."
Fire and Emergency New Zealand (FENZ) were investigating what started the fire.
A Givealittle page has been set up by friends of the couple to help them stay on their feet as they sort out insurance.
- The couple had contents and home insurance.