A man who died in a fire which razed a remote two-storey farm homestead north of Napier at the weekend has been identified as 57-year-old farmer and farm worker Martin Henry (Marty) Carswell.
From a Puketitiri farming family, Mr Carswell had lived in the homestead about 1km from the village of Waikoau on Darky's Spur Rd, west of Tutira, for at least 13 years.
He farmed sheep on a property of about 20ha but also worked as casual labour fencing, crutching and doing other jobs for farmers and lifestyle block owners in the area, said neighbour and Waikoau rural fire party volunteer chief Trevor Chambers.
Mr Chambers was the first to reach the house after noticing the smoke which was also sweeping down across the village about 5.30pm on Sunday.
The building was ablaze and in the process of collapsing as Mr Chambers summoned other members of the fire group, as well as alerting the fire service, with crews from Napier and the Bay View Volunteer brigade arriving to extinguish the flames.
A body was found in the house, but no one else was understood to have been at the property at the time.
A fire safety officer and police investigated yesterday but no comment on the cause or why Mr Carswell was unable to escape the blaze was available last night.