Fire has destroyed one house and badly damaged another in Whanganui.
Emergency services were called to the house on Seafront Road at about 8.30pm.
More than 20 firefighters with four engines have been trying to get it under control.
Police said one person had been taken to hospital suffering from smoke inhalation.
Fire service shift manager Belinda Beets said the fire quickly spread to a second property.
"The first house that caught fire has now collapsed and there will not be any searches tonight of that property, it will be in the hands of police until we can ascertain whether that house fire is suspicious or not."
She said police were investigating the fire.