The Fire Service is urging people to eliminate any fire risks they can in their homes after a fatal blaze and two close calls early this morning.
A man died in a house fire in Poroporo near Whakatane shortly after midnight; the occupants of a Napier house escaped a fire that burnt it to the ground shortly after 3am, and a Lower Hutt man was pulled out of his smoke-filled house by neighbours shortly before 5am.
National Advisor for fire risk management Todd O'Donoghue said the morning could have been much worse.
"Sadly a lot of people are quite complacent and think that a fire just wont happen to them, unfortunately it is a real risk from a number of possible causes."
Mr O'Donoghue said as winter approaches people need to check fire alarms.