Nothing is left of an unoccupied rural Far North house that burned for at least three hours before it was discovered.

Fire appliances from Kaitaia, Kohukohu and Ahipara were alerted to the blaze at the Runaruna Rd property in Broadwood about 7am yesterday.

Specialist fire investigator Terry Baylis said neighbours finally noticed smoke and went to investigate. The blaze had probably been going since at least 4am, Mr Baylis said.

"There was nothing left of the house. There is nothing standing ... it's all ash."

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It appeared an electrical malfunction was responsible, Mr Baylis said. "Looking at the evidence, I think we can rule out a suspicious fire."

Furniture stored at the house had also been lost.