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