Man saved from burning West Coast house

A man was saved from a burning house in the West Coast this morning.

A Fire Service spokesman said the blaze occurred at an Andersen St property, just east of Reefton, shortly before 5am.

The house was "well ablaze" when fire crews from Ikamatua and Reefton arrived.

He said the man, the only occupant of the property, suffered burns and was taken to Grey Base Hospital.

The fire also spread to a neighbouring property.

Both properties were destroyed by the blaze, the spokesman said.

West Coast fire safety officer Greg Flaws said the man was "awake and alert" when Reefton firefighters entered the house and pulled him to safety.

The middle-aged man was standing near the back door of the house, he said.

The fire was being treated as suspicious and police were investigating, Flaws said.

Detective Constable Michel Bloom said arson had not yet been ruled out.

"It could be anything. Electrical and arson are generally the most common types of fire. Until we can rule either of those out it's too early to say."

Police had not yet spoken to the man, Bloom said.

He was not aware if the man was already awake when the fire started or was woken by smoke alarms.

Bloom said no-one was in the neighbouring property - a holiday home - at the time of the blaze.

Canterbury firefighters were also busy in the early hours this morning preventing a vegetation fire on the Waimakariri river bank, near Baynons Rd in Clarkville, spreading to a nearby plantation.

The Fire Service spokesman said they were alerted to the blaze about 1.45am.

At the height of the fire it was about 20 metres by 15m, he said.

Six fire trucks and three tankers attended.

The Press