An 80-year-old man died in a house fire near Whangarei early this morning.
Firefighters spent about two hours fighting the blaze at a house in Ruakaka after being called to the Bream Bay Drive property at about 4.30am.
The amount of wooden furniture in the house made it difficult to get inside to rescue the man, and his body was found after the fire was put out.
The Fire Service said the elderly man lived alone and was found in his bed.
Fire safety officer Craig Bain said the fire seems to have started in the bedroom of the Ruakaka house.
Mr Bain said the Ruakaka Fire Brigade was at the fire five minutes after neighbours raised the alarm but found the house too far gone to get inside.