A man woken by a smoke alarm sounding along with what he at first thought was heavy rain was able to flee his burning house in Chamen Street last night, escaping uninjured.
Stewart Ritchie fled without his phone, and woke neighbours to call the fire brigade.
Fire captain Les Carr said the house was a ball of flame when the first fire engine arrived at 3.28am, just ten minutes after the call was received, and could not be saved.
"We had one line dousing the fire we had the other focused on saving it from spreading next door," Mr Carr said.
The fire brigade successfully contained damage to the one house.
The house had a wood heater which was operating in the evening, but the exact cause of the fire is still under investigation.
Mr Carr said the fire should serve as a reminder to everyone to check their smoke alarms were in order.
"Something, either the smoke alarm or the noise of the fire, woke the occupant and if he hadn't been woken it could have been a very different scenario," he said.
In addition to two engines from Cootamundra, engines from Harden, Young, Gundagai and the Rural Fire Service were in attendance.
The three bedroom weatherboard dwelling at the corner of Chamen and Bapaume Streets was gutted.
Middle-aged Mr Ritchie, known to his neighbours as Stewie, was the sole occupant.
According to neighbours he had been gradually renovating the house since he moved in around four years ago.
He was unable to save anything from the fire.
Although it's believed house and contents were insured, it's not clear whether insurance will cover the destruction of Mr Ritchie's Harley Davidson motorbike, thought to be valued in the vicinity of $30,000.