Fire crews used specialist equipment to find a man trapped in a burning house in Christchurch last night.
Emergency services were called to Breens Road in Bishopdale at 10.40pm and found the man in a critical condition.
He received medical attention at the scene but died later in hospital.
Fire investigator Bruce Irvine said firefighters were able to focus their efforts early on.
"Fortunately, a neighbour met the crews and advised that yes, there probably was an occupant within the building. That focused the crews on the search."
He said it was a fierce blaze.
"While the smoke spread throughout the house, the smoke was quite dense, crews were able to use thermal imaging equipment to search the property and find the occupant."
Three crews fought the flames.
Fire investigators and police will spend most of the day examining the scene, however, the fire is not considered suspicious.