Police and firefighters have been seen chasing after a man following reports of a house fire in Maungatapu.

Emergency services were called to a report of a house fire at the eastern end of Maungatapu Rd just before 3pm, a police media spokeswoman said.

Jake Sellers was picking his son up from school when he saw fire trucks travel past and stop at the house.

Sellers said there was also a police car and a shirtless man outside the house.

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"Then a second police car showed up and the guy took off. The guy ran towards the house and all of a sudden the police ran after him, then the fire people started running after them," he said.

"The weirdest thing is there was no smoke but there was a window smashed. It was odd. Very, very odd."