A Huntly mother and her four children managed to escape a fast-moving fire thanks to smoke alarms.
Huntly fire chief Craig Bush said last night's blaze of the Rosser St house was one of
"the hottest, fastest house fires I've seen for quite a while".
"We generally have them well saved but this one was gone before we even had a chance to get near it. It went incredibly quick."
Bush said the woman and her four children were inside when they heard the smoke alarms going off just after 6pm.
"They had a look around and all the flames burst through the ceiling. So they got out and by the time we got there she was well involved. It absolutely destroyed the whole house, the people lost everything.
"They will have the clothes on the clothesline and whatever they might have had in their car or shed and that's about all that they have got left."
Bush believes the speed of the fire was accelerated due to the materials used in building the home, including the wooden ceiling.
"Whatever the ceiling was made of has contributed to the spread being so quick because it definitely burned from the roof down. There's been irreparable damage to the house."
The fire wasn't believed to be suspicious but a fire safety officer was at the house today to try and determine where and why the fire started.
"We're just more interested in trying to determine the cause of the fire. There's a whole lot of things that we try and get it down to, but all we know so far is that it started in the roof."