VIDEO, PHOTOS: Bendigo house engulfed by flames

SOURCE: Bendigo Advertiser.

AN ASCOT home has been engulfed by flames and almost completely destroyed.  

The weatherboard property on Myrtle Road caught fire about 10.45am Sunday.  Neighbour Lewis Simon said he saw a fire truck rush past his house and stop nearby.

He ran outside and saw thick black smoke billowing from the home. 

"It was terrible," Mr Simon said. 

A family with several children live in the house and had to rush from the home. The home has been severely damaged by the fire and will likely need to be demolished. 

The roof has been blackened and is at risk of collapsing. 

The Country Fire Association (CFA) says the fire was brought under control at 11.15am and that 50 per cent of the house was gutted.

Huntly fire brigade captain Ewan Paton said he thought between $80,000 and $120,000 worth of damage had been caused to the house.

He said a unattended electric heater in a room at the front of the house was the cause of the fire. 

He said the family was at the back of the house when they heard their smoke alarm go off at about 10.45am.

They ran to the front of the house to find an entire front room was on fire, so they evacuated.

"The front room was fully alight and spreading to the roof cavity when we arrived on scene," Mr Paton said.

He said that part of the roof of the rented property was destroyed.

Mr Paton said the incident showed that it was important not to leave electric heaters unattended and also highlighted that it was vital all houses had working smoke alarms.

One of the neighbours at the back of the home, Brian Beavis, saw the smoke and ran over to the house. 

He said he helped the family retrieve photos and personal items before smoke filled the home. He was ordered from the house by the CFA but managed to save several possessions. 

The fire has destroyed the two front bedrooms of the property.  About five children live at the home, aged from about two to children in their late teens. 

One of the children is in a wheelchair and had to be helped from the home.