A heavily pregnant woman saved her three children from their burning home in Wainuiomata this morning before returning to try save the family dog.
Her brother, Brendan Julius, told 1 NEWS the dog did not survive the blaze near Wellington despite his sister’s heroics.
“She was a trooper this morning,” he said.
“She went back in to try and save the dog.”
The Kowhai Street home was in flames when emergency services arrived around 7am.
Fire and Emergency New Zealand area commander Gareth Hughes said while the family had "done everything right," including having working smoke alarms, the property looked to be a "total loss".
Since the blaze, donations from the Lower Hutt community have started flooding in for the family, including via a Givealittle page.
“Everything has been lost in the fire and with her being a single mum, it’s just hard for her having to start from scratch,” Julius said.
“The donations are mind-blowing, the generosity of everyone is so amazing,” he said.
Fire investigators are yet to determine the cause.
"They were upset, as to be expected, they've lost their house, but we've made sure they've got extended family around them and they're going to look after them in the coming days," Hughes said.