An elderly man lived in a house north of Gisborne where firefighters found a body early today.
Detective Sergeant Theo Akroyd said it was too early to determine if the fire in the Whatatutu Rd, Te Karaka house was suspicious.
"We will be working closely with fire safety investigation officers to determine the cause of the blaze. But at this stage we can't say whether the fire was accidental or deliberately lit.''
Formal identification of the body may take some time.
Firefighters were alerted about 2.30am to the blaze, which destroyed the house.
They had not known anyone was inside the house, discovering the body as the fire was put out, police said.