Axe-Wielding Man Shot Dead After Confrontation With Police

NSW police officers have shot dead a man they say was wielding an axe and threatening them during a house fire on the state's Central Coast.

The officers had forced their way through the front door of a home at The Entrance Road in Erina about 10.30pm on Friday after noticing flames coming from the side of the house.

The axe-armed man allegedly threatened the officers before he was shot, a police statement said.

The wounded man died a short time later despite paramedics' treatment.

Police were called to the address near Terrigal Road after reports of a dispute between neighbours.

Landscaper Gavin Reeves said he heard the gunshots but didn't realise the seriousness until he read the news on Saturday morning.

"I was watching TV and just heard two or three quick pops," he told AAP.

"I didn't think very much of it. I'd never heard a gunshot before."

One woman saying she lived a few doors from the Erina home thanked police for their "time and care to the situation".

"It was horrible for everyone," she posted to Facebook.

A critical incident team within the homicide squad will investigate the death.

Their investigation will also be subject to independent review.

The NSW coroner will determine the man's cause of death and examine the circumstances leading up to it at a later date.