A man in his 30s has been found dead following a house fire near the Canterbury town of Darfield.
The fire service was called to the property in the small settlement of Kimberly at 5.20am on Saturday, however the body was not found until about five hours later, when firefighters were walking through debris and extinguishing hotspots.
Fire Service communication shift manager Andrew Norris says the house was burning so strongly when firefighters arrived that crews had to extinguish the flames from the outside.
He says the house has suffered extensive damage, and part of it collapsed.
Mr Norris says several people living at the property managed to escape.
The cause of the fire is not yet known, though police say the blaze is not suspicious.
Darfield was close to the epicentre of last week's major earthquake but the regional fire commander Dan Coward says there is no connection between the fire and the jolt.
He says the building was a 1930s weatherboard house