Police have confirmed a body has been located at the scene of last night's house fire on Conservators Rd in McLeans Island in Christchurch.

The property was extensively damaged as a result of the fire.

The body is yet to be removed from the property and has not been officially identified.

Police and Fire and Emergency NZ will be conducting a joint scene examination at the property as part of the investigation to understand the cause.

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However, due to the nature of the damage, this is expected to take some time as the building is unsafe.

Fire investigators arrive at the scene of a house fire on the outskirts of Christchurch last night. Photo / Amber Allott
Fire investigators arrive at the scene of a house fire on the outskirts of Christchurch last night. Photo / Amber Allott

"A priority for us is to ensure the search of the property can be completed in a safe manner," Superintendent Lane Todd said.

A neighbour says an older man lives at the property on his own.

She and her husband went over to the house last night when they heard there was a fire - but by then there was nothing they could do.

The woman says the man's vehicle was outside the property and that he spent a lot of time at home.

She says it was not very nice thinking about the fact he could have been inside the house when the fire broke out.