A woman was seen running out of her flat as fire engulfed it yesterday morning - the second blaze in three days involving Housing New Zealand units.
Other people living in the four-unit flat complex on Seddon Cres in Maraenui thought their homes were also going to go up in flames when the fire broke out in the end unit shortly after 9.15am.
Neighbour Gail Spargo was the first to call emergency services after she heard a loud "boom", followed by glass shattering.
"It was my cats which came scuttling around the corner who raised the alarm and then moments later we heard the boom, it was like a big 'bang' noise, very loud.
"We heard windows popping and when we went outside and saw the fire we thought it was going to take down the whole block. It was just unbelievable."
Another neighbour said he was asleep in his unit next to the one burning and only woke up after hearing friends yell "fire".
Others had just started reading their morning paper about Saturday's fire on McLaren Cres, also in Maraenui, when they had the chance to see a live fire on their doorstep.
Senior Napier fire station officer Colin Littlewood said it had been a busy morning for emergency services, which had already attended two incidents before the Seddon Cres fire.
A car and a van crashed on the corner of Church Rd and Puketitiri Rd near Taradale, and a car trailer being towed by a car crashed into a power pole, also on Church Rd.
"We were able to get three fire trucks here (Seddon Cres) and it didn't take long to get the fire under control. About 10 minutes.
"There was one female occupant who managed to get out. I believe there has been alternative accommodation for her to go to. The other flats are fine."
Mr Littlewood said it was not clear exactly what started the fire and New Zealand Fire Service safety officer Bob Palmer had started an investigation.
An investigation was also under way into the blaze which gutted the Housing New Zealand home in McLaren Cres on Saturday.
Maraenui woman Sharron Paramore had been living in the house for about 15 years and there were three adults, five children and grandchildren inside the house when the fire broke out shortly after midday.
A Facebook page has been set up to help Ms Paramore rebuild her life after she lost everything in the fire.
The group has 103 members and already people have offered furniture and other household items. There is also an account number so that people can donate money.
The page administrator made a plea for people to dig deep.
"Hey guys just thought I'd Woman runs for her life
as flames engulf home
They have lost everything in a house fire. If you have anything you could donate, we can organise to have it picked up.Facebook page make a little page to help these guys out. They have lost everything in a house fire. If you have anything you could donate, we can organise to have it picked up. Please share the page around. Let's help them out at this hard time."
Those who would like to help Ms Paramore can go online to www.facebook.com/groups/390351194379502/
Meanwhile Housing New Zealand tenancy services regional manager Jackie Pivac said the department was pleased nobody was injured in both fire incidents.
"We understand the smoke alarms in both properties assisted the tenants by alerting them to the fire. The fire service did a great job quickly attending the incidents and making sure everyone was safe."
Housing New Zealand was working with the tenants from Seddon Cres to relocate them to another property.
"We are still in the process of inspecting the fire damage. Once this is completed we will be able to decide what the future of the property will be.
"Decisions around whether to repair, rebuild or demolish a property are made on a case by case basis depending on the level of damage and the cost of repair."
Tenants from the McLaren Cres house had accepted an offer to move to another property in the area.
The cost of the damage or any liability of the fire could not be attributed until after the fire service completed its investigation.
Housing New Zealand owns and manages around 69,000 properties and therefore fires are an ongoing occurrence, ranging from minor fires to those that substantially damage or destroy a property. Smoke detectors are installed in all Housing NZ properties and regularly inspected.