The Fire Service says there were no smoke alarms in either a house or a caravan where a woman was killed in a fire in Invercargill early on Sunday morning.
The body of the 45-year old woman was found in the caravan adjacent to the house.
Seven others were hospitalised for smoke inhalation.
Police say both the caravan, where it's believed the fire started, and the house were well ablaze by the time they arrived on the scene.
Senior Sergeant Brian Benn of the Southern District Police says it started just before 5am.
He says the police believe they know who the woman is, but a formal identification is yet to be made.
Police investigators and two fire safety officers have been working to establish the cause of the fire.
A post-mortem will be carried out on Monday.