Only the chimney was left standing after a fire burnt a family home to the ground at Willatook on Tuesday.
Firefighters arrived on scene about 11am fearing residents might still be inside, but the family of seven was not home at the time.
CFA Hawkesdale group officer Pat Noonan said the house was fully alight with flames about 15 metres high when he arrived on scene.
"It's a tragedy for the family," Mr Noonan said.
"Part of the structure had actually caved in and there was another part that was fully engulfed."
Just the chimney of the weatherboard house and part of the half-collapsed garage remained upright, he said. "The entire structure has been brought to the ground," a CFA media spokesperson said.
Mr Noonan, who knows the occupants of the house, said he was at work about three kilometres away when he noticed the smoke and headed straight to the property fearing there may be people inside. "That's the reason I came straight to the scene rather than going to get a tanker, I thought there may have been people in the house and I was listening on the radio coming here that the tankers were on the way," he said.
Mr Noonan said ambulances were also called to the scene in case anyone was injured. However, soon after arriving on scene he spoke to the home owner who confirmed no one was home at the time.
Mr Noonan said the fire was brought under control within 40 minutes of firetrucks tackling the blaze.
He said the community, the cricket club and Moyne Shire Council was rallying around the family who lost everything in the blaze. Home owner Stuart Habel thanked the community for the support.
The fire has not been deemed suspicious and investigators were on scene to determine the cause. Thirteen units attended with firefighters coming from Willatook, Hawkesdale, Warrong, Kirkstall, Woolsthorpe, Spring Creek, Abbey Hill, Koroit and Mount Rouse.
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