An elderly man is believed to have died in a house fire in North Canterbury.
The Fire Service was called to the rural property, in Gore Bay Road south of Cheviot, about 7.35am.
Sergeant Graeme Crosson said the woman managed to get out of the house by herself, but her husband was last seen in the building.
He said the house was virtually destroyed, but still had a number of hot spots, which crews were dampening down.
"When that is done and safe we'll be conducting a search for the gentleman, who we believe is still inside."
Mr Crosson said it wasn't known what caused the fire.
He said the woman had suffered smoke inhalation and was likely to remain at a local medical centre for the rest of the day. She was being supported by family members.
The fire was not believed to be suspicious.
A fire investigator from Christchurch is travelling to the site.