One person is dead after a house fire in the Canterbury suburb of Amberley.

Fire services were called to the Church St address, north of Christchurch, about 9am.

They arrived within five minutes of taking the call but the house was already engulfed in flame, a spokesman said.

One person was removed from the house but had already died.

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A neighbour said the house that burned down was one of several pensioner units on Church St owned by the Hurunui District Council.

It was understood no one else was in the house.

By 11.30am the fire was extinguished.

Police and fire investigators were at the scene trying to determine the cause.