A man is dead after a blaze tore through a workshop behind a house in South Auckland early this morning.

National manager of fire investigation Peter Wilding said the man may have died in a flash fire, which broke out at 2.10am.

The alarm was raised by an eagle-eyed security officer at Kings College who spotted flames coming from the Rosella Rd residence across the railway tracks.

Four fire crews battled the blaze before making the tragic discovery as they searched the badly damaged building.

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A second search was carried out to make sure no other people had been trapped and lost their life in the deadly blaze.

Wilding believed the man was a hobbyist and he had a reason to be in the workshop when the fire happened.

He didn't believe there were any suspicious or criminal circumstances around the blaze.

Specialist fire investigators were investigating further today to work out how the fire started.

Shorly before midnight last night, a Courtney Cres home in the same suburb was gutted by fire.

Radden said everyone inside the house managed to escape the blaze but St John ambulance staff treated one person for smoke inhalation.