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An elderly Dunedin woman and "lovely, lovely soul'' is understood to have died in house fire overnight.
A neighbour said the Challis St, Vauxhall resident, believed to be in her 80s, was a "dear old soul'' who lived alone after her husband died in 2011.
The neighbour said he saw firefighters bring the woman outside and attempt CPR on her on the front lawn.
But sadly, she could not be revived, he said.
"She was a dear old soul, it’s just horrible.
"She was a lovely neighbour, a lovely, lovely soul."
Emergency services were called to the blaze in a single-storey shortly before 3am.
Fire crews arrived to find the house well alight and called for extra support, southern fire communications said.
A person was found inside the property and CPR was performed - but to no avail. The victim was pronounced dead at the scene about 3.30am, authorities said.
The blaze was brought under control about an hour later.
Police said a scene guard was in place overnight and police and Fire and Emergency New Zealand would examine the scene today and work to establish the circumstances of the fire.
Fire investigators from Dunedin and Queenstown had been called to investigate.
With NZ Herald