Wollongong police are investigating the cause of a ferocious fire which destroyed a home at Bulli and damaged another in the early hours of Sunday.
Emergency services were called around 3.15am with reports a single level home on Hospital Road was well alight.
Fire and Rescue NSW Illawarra Duty Commander Inspector Chad Wallace said initially two trucks - one from Bulli and another from Corrimal - had been tasked to the incident, but due to the high volume of Triple Zero calls the incident was escalated with eight trucks in total responding.
This included a HAZMAT team from Shellharbour and a cherrypicker "platform" from Wollongong.
"The first arriving crews had to quickly asses whether anyone was in the homes and at the same time fight the fire, thankfully they were advised on arrival the occupants were all out," Inspector Wallace said.
"As further crews arrived, they did manage to save the neighbouring house, but the first house was severely damaged by fire.
"The incident has now been handed to police, where police investigators will work with fire investigators to attempt to establish exactly how the fire started and where."
He said it was usual for police to investigate when fires cause significant damage such as over $150,000.
A NSW Ambulance spokesman said one crew had been sent to the scene, however no-one needed medical attention.
A fundraising campaign through GoFundMe has been set up for the family who lost everything in the blaze - understood to be local comedian Marty Henchion, his wife Alice and their three children.
We depend on subscription revenue to support our journalism. If you are able, please subscribe here. If you are already a subscriber, thank you for your support.