Homes were evacuated as 18 fire crews and two helicopters with monsoon buckets battled a blaze which destroyed a house in Canterbury and put one person in hospital with burn injuries.

The fire service was alerted to the blaze on Downs Rd, Hororata at 7.15pm, which quickly spread into nearby grass and threatened two other homes in the area.

Rural volunteer crews from various stations in the Selwyn district were at the fire, as was a commander from Christchurch, a fire communications spokesman said.

"The house was well ablaze when crews arrived. The house fire is now out but crews are still battling the fire that's spread to vegetation," a spokesman told the Herald last night.


Two helicopters were sent to help put out the blaze but were stood down due to strong winds, he said.

The fire was under control by about 10.30pm, and a "hot spot" found at the house was doused at 11 by crews that remained on the scene until after midnight.

No other homes were damaged, the spokesman said.

The Fire Service received mixed reports about the cause of the fire, he said. "There were reports it started from the house and reports it started from a woodfire nearby."

One person who suffered burns was transported by ambulance to Christchurch Hospital in a serious condition - the ambulance was called to the scene at 7.21pm.

An investigator will be at the scene later this morning to determine the cause of the fire.