Fires in the South Island kept crews busy overnight with houses in Timaru, Southland and Christchurch catching fire, and a fire in an apartment building in Queenstown.

One person suffered burns to their hands in one of the fires but otherwise no one was injured.

Shortly before 8pm yesterday crews were called to a massive house fire in Roswell Valley, Timaru, where a two-storey house was discovered well ablaze.

It took fire crews from five stations six hours to get the flames under control and there were still emergency staff at the scene this morning, said southern communications shift manager Riwai Grace.

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People were home at the time but no one was hurt.

The fire inspector would be attending the incident this morning before heading to Queenstown to investigate the cause of a fire on the third floor of an apartment building which also happened last night.

It was quickly extinguished and again no one was hurt, Grace said.

Shortly before 3am fire crews got another call about a house fire, this time in Heriot, in Southland.

Crews attended and put the fire out quickly. It was not clear whether anyone was home during the incident.

About 5am two crews were sent to a house fire in Christchurch city, where the side of the building had caught fire.

Crews had the fire under control and were dampening it down by 7am.

One person suffered burned hands and was being treated at the scene by ambulance staff.

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