By Wilhelmina Shrimpton
A woman who died in an Auckland house fire this morning had been rescued from a similar blaze at the property before.
The body of the woman in her 70s was found inside the burnt out home in the central suburb of Ponsonby.
Senior fire investigator Mike McEnaney says it was confirmed on arrival that there was one person in the building.
He says firefighters then undertook a search where they found the deceased body.
Eight fire engines and 40 fire fighters were at the scene at the height of the blaze which spread to a neighbouring home and Mr McEnaney credited early intervention by the fire service for stopping the fire spreading further.
Neighbours who were forced to evacuate say the woman lived alone, but shared the home with a number of dogs – only one of which survived.
Neighbour Vaughn Davis says it was a kind of déjà vu. But it's déjà vu that's left many in shock.
"The three houses in a row here have been here for a good 10 -15 years – so we've lost a really well-loved character on our street," says Mr Davis.
The Fire Service says the woman did have working smoke alarms at the time but it's not yet known what sparked the blaze.
The woman's body will be removed from the scene later today.