A historic homestead in Waimate, South Canterbury has been "extensively damaged," according to fire crew who were called to the scene this afternoon.
The blaze at Te Kiteroia Lodge off Point Bush has now been extinguished after fire crew an afternoon spent fighting the flames.
Fire and Emergency New Zealand say a call was first received at 1.45pm to attend the “well established” fire, which came from the upstairs area of the two-storey building.
At one point there were over 30 firefighters in attendance, 11 appliances, including six fire trucks, two more providing relief as well as three tankers.
While there were people at the property, all were safely evacuated and no one has been harmed, FENZ says.
Six crew remain at the scene, with one staying overnight. A fire investigator will return tomorrow morning.
According to the homestead’s Facebook page, the tragedy comes as Te Kiteroa was set to commemorate the life of its founder, Emily Phillips, who built the homestead in 1913, aged 76.
The inaugural Heritage Festival was set to begin at Te Kiteroa on 25 May.