An investigator has been called in to determine if a house fire in Southland is suspicious.

A Fire Service spokesman said a neighbour raised the alarm about the fire at the Bann St property in Bluff about 12.40pm today.

When two crews from Bluff arrived at the wooden house it was "well ablaze'' in the front bedroom.

Another two crews from Invercargill were called and firefighters limited the damage to a part of the house, the spokesman said.

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The whole house was being used for storage and crews had difficulty getting inside, he said.

Initial reports that someone might be inside were unfounded, as crews extinguished the fire and found no one.