Rural fire crews are on standby at the scene of a big house and scrub fire west of Christchurch.
The fire, on Downs Road in Hororata, is largely out but at its peak last night it was being fought by 18 fire crews and two helicopters.
One person was treated for smoke inhalation.
The Fire Service said, after the fire was put out last night, crews had to return when it flared up again in the wreckage of the house.
Neighbours Sylvia Montgomery and her partner Chris Robins saw it catch fire two paddocks away.
"That's burned down. It's gone. It started in the woodshed. Chris went down to see if he could do anything and came back quickly and said, they don't want anybody down there.
"We could see the house, everything going up. It sort of shot across all the paddocks and down towards the Hororata village itself."
Fire investigators will be looking into the cause today.