Three people have been injured by an explosion, that has been described as a sudden fire, at a house in Invercargill.
Emergency services were called to the property in Rothesay Place, in the suburb of Rockdale, shortly before 1.30pm.
A St John spokesperson said two people were seriously injured and taken to Southland Hospital.
One other person sustained minor injuries and was treated at the scene, he said.
A police spokesperson said they received reports of an explosion, but they could not comment on what caused it at present.
A Fire and Emergency (FENZ) spokesperson said the blaze was now extinguished but major damage to the house made it uninhabitable.
A fire investigator has finished examining the site, but the cause is yet to be confirmed.
"It was described as a sudden fire, but it's unclear the circumstances that led up to it," FENZ spokesperson Andrew Norris said.
"It's a kitchen fire for us at this stage."
The house was "moderately damaged".
A Kāinga Ora spokesperson confirmed the house was owned by the Crown agency, formerly known as Housing New Zealand.
"Our team is working with the affected tenants to ensure they are given all the support they need at this difficult time," the spokesperson said.
"Any further questions relating to this incident need to be directed to police."