A pub in Kirwee, west of Christchurch, has been destroyed by a fire that started on Christmas Eve.

Kirwee Tavern on Courtenay Rd was reported to be ablaze at 11.47pm, Fire and Emergency NZ southern shift manager Riwai Grace said.

"The informant said it was burning well so we went straight to a second alarm."

Two fire trucks and a tanker were tasked to the fire but due the size of the blaze - which was visible from Kirwee Fire Station - the local crew immediately called for extra backup, escalating the fire to a third alarm.

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The two-storey tavern has been destroyed, despite the best efforts of 60 firefighters. Photo / Facebook
The two-storey tavern has been destroyed, despite the best efforts of 60 firefighters. Photo / Facebook

Everyone had been accounted for and there were no reports of injuries.

At the peak 16 appliances and about 60 firefighters from Kirwee, Darfield, Coalgate, Rolleston, Sheffield, West Melton, Christchurch Central, and Wigram were sent to battle the fire.

Kirwee Tavern before the fire.
Kirwee Tavern before the fire.

However Grace said the 20m x 20m two-storey building was burning so fiercely firefighters could not get inside and were reduced to using "defensive mode", fighting it from outside.

Enough said 👀😥😥😥 will keep you all updated.. a HUGE thanks to all the fire crews...

Posted by Kirwee Tavern, Restaurant and Hotel on Tuesday, 24 December 2019

Four fire engines and one tanker are still in attendance this morning but the tavern had been "totalled".

Police and a fire investigator were notified of the fire last night due to its size and location but there was no suggestion it was suspicious at this stage.