A burnt Christmas ham was the cause of a fire callout in Christchurch this morning.

Southern fire service spokesman Andrew Norris said Christchurch Fire Service's Addington brigade were called to a fire in Manhire Street just after 9am.

The Fire Service was alerted to the blaze by an alarm monitoring company and on arrival discovered a family cooking their Christmas ham.

"The glaze had overheated producing smoke which set the alarm off.


"All's well that ends well - the family had sorted it out and the ham was still edible."

the family had no idea their cooking skills had caught the attention of emergency services.

"It was a bit of a Christmas surprise for the family - everyone thought it was quite jovial."

Further south, a wooden bus shelter filled with donated presents was set on fire in Waitati, north of Dunedin, at 5am today.

"Apparently there was a whole lot of stuff dumped there," Mr Norris said.

Mr Norris said the blaze was attended by the Waitati brigade who found "a whole lot of stuff" inside the shelter.

"It was full of free giveaway items."

Police were following up the cause of the fire.

The fire happened within hours of a rubbish fire in a skip just 15km away in Port Chalmers.

Mr Norris said it was not yet known whether the fires were linked.