Shouts and explosions alerted neighbours to a house fire in the Porirua suburb of Titahi Bay early this morning, but they were unable to save the sole occupant.
Kamira Rangimoeakau, who was also known as Kam Rangi and was 57, died in the blaze which the police are not treating as suspicious.
Emergency services were called to the scene at about 1am after being alerted by the neighbours.
Janine Rao was one of the locals woken up by the fire and heard an explosion and a popping sound.
"Just saw the flames and smoke everywhere and then we ran across, we called 111 and there were other neighbours across the road that was coming in to have a look around the house to see if they could hear anybody call out."
Another witness tried to enter the house to save Mr Rangimoeakau but couldn't get through the front door and was taken to hospital with smoke inhalation.
A post mortem examination will be carried out tomorrow.