The owner of a house that was completely destroyed by fire on Monday was described as a 'recluse' by his nearest neighbours.

Police were called to help the Fire Service deal with a large blaze on Okahutiria Rd, Waverley, on Monday afternoon. After the fire was out, police and fire investigators discovered a body.

The body has not yet been identified.

Sharon De Melo, who lives in the neighbouring property, said the house's owner was Kerry Anthony Riley.


"We only know him very vaguely. He's a recluse and he keeps to himself. We haven't seen him for about a year."

Mrs De Melo said although they were neighbours, they lived a long way from each other.

"You can't see his place from our place. It's steep hill country around here with a lot of bush."

Mrs De Melo said she had no idea about the fire until another neighbour told her they'd seen fire trucks passing by.

"I didn't really hear about what happened until [Tuesday] morning."

The house was fully engulfed in flames by the time emergency services arrived and it raged for four hours before fire services could put it out.

Fire Service spokesman Murray Dunbar someone passing by called the brigade shortly before midday on Monday. Two appliances attended but the house had already collapsed.

"It was a pile of rubble."


Waverley Fire Station chief Alan Hickford access was difficult to the site and the fire was finally out at 4.30pm.

Police spokesperson Jillian Reid said the investigation into the fire was ongoing and police were still working to identify the victim.

"Police will not be in a position to release the name today, and contacting next of kin can take some time. Police will release the name as soon as it is appropriate to do so," Ms Reid said.

Security guards would be maintaining watch over the area.