POLICE believe a malfunctioning heater is responsible for sparking a house fire at Waratah West tonight.
Fire and Rescue NSW crews were called to Parkhill Parade about 8pm after a fire started in the lounge room.
The occupants were home at the time of the fire but escaped uninjured, police said.
A Newcastle City police spokesman said it appeared the family had returned home and turned on the heater which had caused an electrical fault.
The fire caused significant smoke and heat damage to one of the rooms.