As many as 32 firefighters are battling a blaze at a house which is dangerously close to a petrol station in a small South Island west coast town.

Fire and Emergency New Zealand crews received multiple calls just after 4.30am, reporting hearing an explosion at Kumara on State Highway 73.

At 6am firefighters had contained the fire and were dampening down hotspots.

At the height of the response six trucks and two water tankers were on site, a spokesman said.

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Kumara is 24km from Greymouth.

Southern Fire Communications Centre duty shift manager Brent Dunn said the house well was well ablaze when they arrived.

Fire crews were fighting the fire and protecting the petrol station next door.

More to come.