Chief fire officer Willy Hagai said Recue Fire had almost completed their investigation and had found that unsupervised children playing with matches was the cause of the blaze.
The fire which occurred after 4pm was attended by six fire trucks – two each from Rescue Fire, Puaikura and Teimurimotia.
“By the time the fire trucks reached the site, the house was completely engulfed by fire. We managed to save the neighbouring houses and none of them got affected,” Hagai said.
“We are pretty much finalising the investigation and we can confirm that unsupervised children playing with matches as the cause of fire.”
Hagai is calling on parents to keep matches and lighters out of children’s reach to avoid such incidents.
Meanwhile, an appeal has started to help the family of five (parents and three children) who lost everything in the fire.
An appeal account under the name Edwards Family Fire Appeal with account number 2000466462 has been set up with Bank South Pacific (BSP).
“Jimmy and Tiare Edwards and their children would like to extend their heartfelt thanks to all those who have assisted them over the last 24 hours,” said a post on the Rarotonga Community and Beyond Facebook page.
“The firefighter services, Cook Islands Police, neighbours who raced to the rescue, Arorangi SDA Church, Bluesky, MP for Akaoa, BSP, local businesses and organisations, family and friends and the wider community.
Meitaki maata for your kindness and thoughtfulness. They are truly in awe of your support!”