Eight children and two adults have escaped from a large house fire in South Auckland unharmed.
The Fire Service was called to a single story state house on Archboyd Avenue in Mangere at 1.20pm today.
The blaze engulfed the house and threatened to spread to neighbouring properties.
Specialist fire investigator Phillip Faidley said the fire took hold quickly, leaving the home completely damaged.
"The house at the address is pretty badly damaged by the fire, one would say completely. The fire's taken hold very quickly.
"The fire has gone from end to end of the house and almost totally damaged the contents and there's very significant structural damage.
The fire was not being treated as suspicious but the cause was yet to be determined, he said.
"There are a couple of possibilities of the cause of fire that we've been discussing with the tenant family.
The occupants were a large family who were all present when it broke out.
"The family's devastated. Housing New Zealand will be providing them with some temporary accommodation for awhile because the house is not habitable so they're feeling quite a bit shocked and necessarily trying to get on with their life.
"One of the most important factors of this fire was that the smoke alarms that had been installed in the house have served to alert the whole family to the presence of fire and has enabled them to make a timely escape from the house without any injury at all.
"That's a very important point that it could have been very different if there weren't any smoke alarms in the house.