New Plymouth house 'suspiciously' burned down after AOS callout

A house in New Plymouth at the centre of an Armed Offenders Squad callout has been burned to the ground.

Witnesses say they were awoken by the smell of smoke and a sky full of flames as the fire in the suburb of Spotswood broke out.  

Craig Jeffrey saw the event unfold and told Newshub it was "unbelievable". 

"I looked out my window and there was this big red glow... The sky was just full of flames."

Mr Jeffrey says he jumped out of bed and took a series of pictures, but quickly became concerned the situation could take a turn for the worse.

"This could create all sorts of problems. The powerlines are right there. If the fire hits them, God knows what."

Two weeks ago, the Armed Offenders Squad surrounded the same house in an 11-hour standoff during what police described as a "domestic dispute". 

A 31-year-old man was charged with breach of bail and threats to kill. Police say he wasn't involved in the fire.

But last night, one neighbour thought the man had come back.

"I heard the windows smashing. I heard some popping. I was in bed. I thought the bugger had come back and was smashing the house up," Spotswood resident Jason Fox says. 

But what he saw was a house engulfed in flames. 

"By the time I got to the gate here, I was only here for a couple of minutes. By that time the whole house was flashed over and it was well involved."

The people inside had a lucky escape, with one person treated for smoke inhalation.

Six Fire and Emergency New Zealand (FENZ) crews fought the blaze with extra crews brought in from Oakura and Inglewood.

Police along with FENZ staff sifted through the remains this morning.

Emergency services are treating the fire as suspicious.