A derelict house in an East Coast township was destroyed by fire last night.

Firefighters were called to the unoccupied property in Te Araroa, about 175km north of Gisborne, just after 7pm.

"It was just about burnt to the ground when we arrived," a Fire Service spokesman said.

As well as the house, two cars and a shed were destroyed.

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The spokesman said the property hadn't been lived in for years.