A fire which ripped through a property in Canterbury could have had more tragic consequences had those inside not woken up to the sound of windows smashing.

Emergency services were called to Heathstock Rd, in Hawarden, in the early hours of Sunday morning.

It is understood the property is the Hawarden Homestead, which has been left gutted.

A spokeswoman for the southern fire communications centre said it received multiple calls to the blaze, which happened just after 3.30am.

Advertisement

The fire's ferocity reached a second alarm category and crews from Waikari and Hawarden were called to the scene.

Several people staying there have told of their lucky escape.

Sam McDonald, 27, told The Press he had woken up to the sound of windows smashing and realised there was a fire.

"I opened the bedroom door and the room just got engulfed in smoke and heat. I ended up throwing a chest of drawers through the window to get us out."

Mr McDonald and his partner, Katrina Davison, jumped out of the broken window and suffered some injuries as a result.

He told the newspaper as soon as they made it out safely, they began running around the property yelling out to other guests who were inside.

All managed to escape.