They escaped with only the clothes they were wearing.
On Thursday last week, a couple and their daughter watched on in horror as their family home in Betela, Arorangi, became engulfed in flames.
There was nothing they could do to save anything that was most precious to them.
“The flames were moving so fast just like nothing, all items of value were destroyed in the fire.”
Police said the cause of the fire is thought to be an electrical fault.
Maara Dean said it was their family home. Her sister and partner, and their young daughter who attends Arorangi School, were living in the house at the time.
Their family was heartbroken that the house had been destroyed by fire, Dean said, but she was grateful that her sister and family were safe and uninjured.
“We can rebuild the house,” she said. “Them being here with us is what matters.”
Dean said locals had already started reaching out to her with offers of help with collecting donations and volunteers putting their hands up to provide free labour to repair the house.
The family are still in need of clothing, basic household and kitchen items, an oven and a fridge, but Dean said any donations would be gratefully received.
Anyone who would like to help the family can call Maara Dean on 25422 or 56775.