Cause of farm fire unknown

Fire destroyed a Southland farmhouse early yesterday.

Fire and Emergency New Zealand investigator Scott Lanauze said firefighters were called to the house in Oreti Plains Rd, near Drummond, at 4.10am.

When two crews from Winton and a tanker from Dipton arrived, the house was already "completely burned", but no-one was at the property.

Mr Lanauze said the investigation team would not be able to conclusively determine the cause of the fire.

"There was a significant amount of damage and there is not much house left."

The farmhouse was one of several structures on the property.

Mr Lanauze said the house was vacant at the time of the fire as a farm worker who lived there was out of town.

It took almost two hours for the team of 14 firefighters to extinguish the blaze.

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