An elderly man who died in a house fire in Northland today has been identified by police.

Noel Hendry, 79, of Ruakaka, died in the blaze which engulfed his home on Bream Bay Dr, Ruakaka, near Whangarei, early this morning.

The Fire Service was called to the scene about 4.30am, and the body of Mr Hendry was found later this morning after the fire had been extinguished, police said.

Fire Service investigators and police criminal investigation bureau officers have been at the scene today.

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The cause of the fire was yet to be determined, police said.

The search had been complicated by the amount of furniture in the house, Jaron Phillips of the Fire Service's northern fire communications centre said.

Six fire trucks from Portland, Ruakaka and Waipu were sent to the blaze.

There were no reports of others injuries.

Bream Bay motel owner Mike Sharrock said the house was engulfed in flames in the early hours of the morning.

When he and his wife woke up early this morning he initially thought fireworks were going off in the area.

"The noise was wood crackling and the flames lit the sky," he said.

The neighbourhood was usually "very quiet", he said.

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"The only person I saw living there was one older guy," he said.

"It's not very nice when there's a fatality involved.

"It makes it 100 times worse."

The house was "extensively damaged", but it "wasn't burnt to the ground", Mr Sharrock said.

The front windows of the house looked like they were "blown out".

Fire Service investigators and Police CIB were at the scene.

The cause of the fire was yet to be determined, police said.