FIRE investigators spent much of yesterday examining a Myrtleford house destroyed by fire on Monday night.
The two men who lived in the house, aged 55 and 70, were both away at the time.
One was at Eurobin while the other, the younger man, was returning from Canberra.
“The top floor was totally destroyed and the roof then collapsed,” Sgt Paul Evans, of Myrtleford police, said.
Country Fire Authority district 24 operations manager Paul King said the investigation would try to establish the room in which the fire had started.
“The house was certainly destroyed,” Mr King said.
The fire started in the Gerratys Lane home at about 7.15pm.
Flames quickly engulfed the 1960s-era two-storey, fibro-cement building on a property on the southern outskirts of the town.
Mr King said CFA investigators arrived yesterday morning.
“There’s no point getting there in the dark,” he said.
“By the time we sorted out some protective clothing for potential asbestos contamination it was about 9.30am.
“We don’t think that the fire’s suspicious — neither do the police.”
Because of the house’s cladding, fire crews quickly alerted nearby residents to keep windows closed.
They were advised not go outside out of fear they might inhale asbestos fibres.
It took about an hour to put out the flames, which had already engulfed the house when emergency services arrived.
Sgt Evans said the fire was fairly fierce.
“The flames were seen by someone in town because they were visible from that far away,” he said.
Sgt Evans urged all householders to double-check their smoke alarms and change batteries regularly.