A man was found dead in his "living quarters" after a fire near Ashburton early this morning.
The Ashburton Volunteer Fire Brigade was called to the fire on Bryant St, Tinwald just after 6am.
Chief fire officer Alan Burgess said the fire was "confined" and quickly put out.
"The fire was in a workshop with some living quarters on the end of it. Something has gone wrong in that part of the shed and sadly a death has resulted from that," Mr Burgess said.
Fire safety officers from Christchurch will investigate the cause later today.
Police are also investigating the scene.
A Tinwald resident said the man, believed to be in his 50s, was an engineer and the building is understood to have been his family-owned workshop.