The death of a woman whose body was found outside her home as the building was engulfed in flames has been described as "unexplained".
Police are investigating the cause of death of a 63-year-old woman who died at the residential address on Queen St, Waihi about 10.20am on Monday.
"It's unexplained," said Detective Glenn Ewing. "It appears there was just a single person on the site."
The police were first on the scene and found the woman deceased outside.
Detective Ewing said the house was extensively damaged.
Waihi Fire Brigade volunteers arrived immediately after the police and put out the fire.
A scene examination would be done tonight and a post mortem tomorrow. Police were also interviewing witnesses.
As detectives worked at the scene behind police tape, a woman who said she was a niece of the deceased said she was saddened by the situation.
The woman was visiting her grandfather when she heard the sirens going off.
"The fire was only just out when I got here. I could see the smoke."
She said she had seen her aunt only the day before.
She said her aunt lived alone in the home and wanted to be independent.
"Everyone knows her, she's really talkative and always said hi."
Neighbour Mike Peck said he felt deeply for relatives of the deceased.
"To have your loved one or your neighbour perfectly fine one day and dead the next, just everything that happened, it is a shock."
Two fire crews from Waihī attended the fire, which was "well-involved" when they arrived and extinguished it.
Just after midday, two fire safety investigators arrived to determine the cause of the fire.
A St John spokeswoman said one ambulance and one rapid response unit attended a "fire incident" but did not treat anyone.
A Waihī resident drove past Queen St just after midday and said there was a large cordon in place and he could see at least two police cars and detectives standing on the street.
The cordon was on Queen St between Albert St and just after Kimberley Rd. He could not see any smoke, but said there was a lot of water on the road.
It was the second fire-related death today. Earlier this morning a person died in a "well-involved" house fire in Hunterville in Rangitikei District, north of Feilding.
Fire and Emergency NZ was alerted to the blaze around 5.45am and four fire trucks.
- Additional reporting by staff reporters