Seven people just managed to escape a house fire in suburban Christchurch early today, the Fire Service says.

The family and their boarders woke shortly after midnight to find a fire in the lounge of their house in Woolston. There were no smoke alarms in the house and it was substantially damaged.

Officers would investigate the cause of the blaze today, but it appeared to have started near a log burner, the Fire Service said.

- NZPA