A community hall is severely damaged after a blaze in Southland last night.

Fire Service spokesman Brent Dunn said four crews responded to the fire in Waipahi from Gore, Clinton and Pukerau. They called for extra tankers of water to help put the blaze out.

"The building was well ablaze when they arrived."

Fire received the call at 11.49pm and didn't leave the site on Railway Terrace until five hours later.

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Dunn said the building had been badly damaged but at this stage the cause was unknown.

The fire has not yet been deemed suspicious. A fire investigator will visit the site around lunchtime today.