Police in Manawatu are investigating whether a Molotov cocktail caused a fire which forced a family of five to flee their burning house, but say it is too early to be sure what started the blaze.
The fire razed the house in Waughs Rd, Bunnythorpe, near Palmerston North, early on Monday morning, police say.
Central Districts Police spokesperson Kim Perks says the couple woke to the sound of breaking glass between 1.30am and 2am on Monday.
She says they grabbed their three daughters, aged between 10 and 13, and fled the house.
Ms Perks says it is easy to see how someone might come to the conclusion a molotov cocktail was involved, due to the sound of breaking glass, and police are not ruling it out, but it's too early in the inquiry to be sure.
Fire Service investigators were also to examine the scene.