A smoke alarm is being credited for saving the lives of a family of three who woke to find their Merivale house on fire in the early hours of this morning.
Firefighters were called to the home in Surrey Grove at about 6.45am where they arrived to find the house engulfed in flames.
The Surrey Grove home has been completely destroyed by fire.
Resident Sisi Latu was inside sleeping when he woke to the ringing of a smoke alarm and quickly escaped the blaze with his wife and daughter.
“I just woke up,” says Sisi Latu.
As the family stood outside all they could do was watch as the house was destroyed by fire.
Tauranga senior station officer Phil Price says firefighters could see the glow of flames from Fraser Street as they approached the home.
Two fire crews from Greerton were also called to the fire.
When fire fighters arrived the house was well alight and the heat from the main blaze had also set the boundary fence on fire.
A partially collapsed tile roof created danger for firefighters, and prevented them entering the building.
They were forced to stop the blaze from outside the building using high pressure and low pressure deliveries.
By sunrise the fire was out with day shift crews taking over the job of damping down hot spots.