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Fire and Emergency NZ shift manager Jill Higgison said firefighters were called to Arawata Terrace in Fernhill at 4.40am.
When they arrived they found a fully involved house fire, she said.
''Initially two crews from Queenstown were called to the scene . . . and then a further one from Queenstown and one from Frankton were called to help.''
The fire started in a bedroom, but it was unclear what caused it, she said.
A St John spokesman said three people were treated for minor injuries at the scene.
Local photographer James Allan, who lives nearby, said the whole area reeked of smoke.
"It just lit the whole street up."
Allan said he understood one person was at home at the time - possibly in a sleep-out.
The house, however, was home to many others who were not at home last night, he said.
Just after 6am, he said the blaze was not completely out and that firefighters were still working to control it.
Fire and Emergency NZ said about six crews were at the scene working to extinguish the blaze almost an hour later.
A spokesman said everyone who was in the house at the time managed to get to safety. However, some were treated by St John for smoke inhalation.
- additional reporting by NZME.