A firefighter was injured and a house was badly damaged during a house blaze near Bulls.
Bulls volunteer fire brigade was called to the fire on Parewanui Rd, south-west of Bulls, just after 1pm on Christmas Day.
Bulls chief fire officer Brian Carter said the house was already well alight by the time firefighters arrived.
"One end of the house, where the kitchen, dining room and lounge are, was gutted, but we managed to save the other end of the house where the bedrooms are.
"The family had just finished renovating their kitchen, and now it's destroyed."
Mr Carter said no one was in the house at the time of the fire.
"The house's occupants had gone to celebrate Christmas Day with family in Feilding."
However, the fire was so intense that a firefighter had to be treated by an ambulance crews at the scene for exhaustion and dehydration.
"That's what can happen when you get a very hot fire, as this one was," Mr Carter said.
It took firefighters until about 7pm to bring the fire under control.
"The fire got into the roof, and there was quite a bit of stuff stored in the roof. So that was a bit of a problem," Mr Carter said.
The rural location of the house meant that water supply was also a problem. So tankers and trucks were called in from fire crews at Ohakea, Rongotea, Halcombe, Feilding and Whanganui.
Mr Carter said the cause of the blaze was not yet known.