Emergency Services are trying to locate an elderly man who lives alone after a fire broke out in a house in Sandringham.

A Fire and Emergency NZ spokesperson said the fire had started in the kitchen at the Gribblehirst Rd house.

Balmoral station officer Tim Cooper said a neighbour tried to put the flames out with a garden hose when fire crews arrived at the scene.

The fire is now extinguished, but crews remain on the scene ventilating the house.

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Inquiries are being made to try to find the elderly man, but Cooper says there is no sign the man was home at the time of the fire.

The fire was mainly contained to the kitchen but there was smoke damage throughout the house.