Fire-fighters risked their lives while searching for a person who they believed may have been trapped inside a burning house at Lake Illawarra on Saturday morning.
Fire crews from Shellharbour and Warrawong rushed to the house fire in Beaton St, Lake Illawarra, at about 5am.
When they arrived on the scene they found the house ablaze and were told the occupant may still be inside.
Fire-fighters then donned breathing apparatus and, entered the house, after one of them ripped a screen door off with his hands.
The fire had breached the roof which placed the burning ceiling at risk of caving in on the fire-fighters during their search.
However, no-one was found and the occupant was believed not to be at home at the time of the fire.
The fire took about 40 minutes to bring under control but the house was totally destroyed by fire.There were no injuries reported and the quick work of the fire-fighters in bringing the blaze under control stopped it spreading to neighbouring homes.
Police are investigating the cause of the fire.