Six people have been taken to hospital after they escaped a fierce house fire in the Christchurch suburb of Sumner this evening.
The wooden, three-storey house on Clifton Terrace went up in flames around 8.30pm. A St John spokesman said ambulance staff assessed 10 people who had escaped from the fire.
Of those taken to Christchurch Hospital, four people had moderate injuries and two had minor injuries.
"I believe the bulk were smoke inhalation but two of them also had minor burns," he said.
Fire crews have now put out the blaze but smoke is still hanging in the air around the house, which is listed on holiday rental website Airbnb.
Christchurch fire spokesman Riwai Grace said emergency services received multiple reports of a house fire from 8.33pm.
They arrived at 8.41pm to find the property on Clifton Terrace was "well involved" in fire, he said.
Five fire crews attended as well as a standby crew waiting at the bottom of the hill, which has very narrow access. Police cordons were set up in the road.
The large wooden house with spectacular beach views is listed on Airbnb as suitable for groups of up to eight people. It costs $229 per night to rent.
A local resident who lives on the Esplanade below the house said she heard the volunteer fire sirens sounding and looked up the hill to see "a real inferno".
It was not clear from that distance which house was ablaze but it appeared to be an architecturally designed, angular home, she said.
"It was fully in flames."
A neighbour two doors down from the house arrived home just after the fire was put out, but said smoke was still thick in the air.
"It's very scary. It's a wooden house so it went up in flames in half an hour or so, the neighbours said."
At least four ambulances could be counted on the road. "But the fire engines have rolled up their hoses - the worst is over."