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A rural house near Gore has been extensively damaged in a fierce fire.
About 20 volunteer firefighters were called to the property in Croydon Bush late this afternoon.
A Fire and Emergency New Zealand spokesman said a fire safety investigator was at the scene and the fire’s cause was undetermined, but not regarded as suspicious.
The occupants of the house had been away when the fire began, but returned while firefighters were dealing with the blaze in Croydon Siding Rd, Croydon Bush, about 6kms northwest of Gore, the spokesman said.
Two fire appliances from Gore, two more from Mataura and three water tankers, from Gore, Tapanui and Riversdale, had helped fight the fire after crews were alerted at 4.42pm.
The local water supply was limited and the tankers operated a shuttle system to bring more water to the fire, while crews tried to prevent the fire from destroying the house, which had been well involved in fire when they arrived.
The fire was extinguished by 6.15pm, but firefighters continued to dampen down the fire and to use thermal imaging equipment to search for hotspots and to eliminate them, the spokesman said.
Because of limited space near the house, most of the water was delivered by a couple of appliances that were closest to the property.
The house was ‘‘extensively damaged’’ but full details of damage to the house and a nearby garage were not immediately available.