A remote house in the Marlborough Sounds burned to the ground this morning after a fire sparked by a brazier.
Firefighters were called to Waterfall Bay, northwest of Picton, after receiving multiple calls about 3.42am today.
The local fire crew had to be taken to the house by the Marlborough Coastguard because there was no road access, Fire Service southern communications shift manager Riwai Grace said.
"They found one property well involved when they arrived and unfortunately the property burned to the ground.''
The house was "totalled'' but fortunately no one was injured, Mr Grace said.
"The good news is that it did have working smoke alarms, and that did actually save their lives - so that's the only good thing that's come out of this.''
It was not known how many people had been in the house.
Mr Grace said the fire, sparked by a brazier, was the result of an "unfortunate mistake''