A MOTHER and her five children have been left homeless after a fire broke out in their Flora Hill house on Tuesday.
Kristy Picken was looking for emergency accommodation on Tuesday afternoon after returning to the home.
"At this stage we've got nowhere to stay," she said.
"We won't be able to stay there because it's pretty smoked out.
"I'll have to ask a friend.
"Hopefully the real estate agency is trying to find a place."
The fire started in the front of the home, which is on the corner of Raymond Avenue and Somerville Street about 2.40pm.
"We've only been in the home for about three weeks," she said.
"I'm a bit shocked more than anything.
"An older power point could have started the fire."
Furniture built by Ms Picken's father was destroyed along with couches, a television, and other items in the lounge room.
The front of the rental home was extensively damaged by fire, but the family's pets escaped.
"Most of the stuff was second hand from Vinnies," Ms Picken said.
Police comforted Ms Picken, who was distressed when she arrived at the property.
Family members had been home earlier in the day but the property was vacant at the time of the fire.
Firefighters attended the address as smoke billowed from the roof and windows.
Jacob Godfrey said he had been driving past and noticed the smoke before calling triple-0.
"I pulled up out the front," he said.
"Firefighters arrived and smashed in the doors and started unloading the hoses as smoke came out of the roof.
"At first no-one knew what was going on, if anyone was at home at the time.
"But once the fire crews got here it was alright."
Mr Godfrey said it had taken the CFA about 30 seconds to arrive after he called triple-0.
He captured footage of the incident on his iPhone.
Judy Jefferis said she saw smoke coming from property and had also called emergency services.
Firefighters removed roof tiles and spent about 10 minutes bringing the blaze under control and fire investigators were called to the scene.
Most of the damage was confined to the front of the house, but there was also extensive smoke damage.
Police believe a bin was placed over an extension lead which started the fire.
There were no suspicious circumstances.
The property was rented by Elders Real Estate and it is not known if the owners had insurance.
The Bendigo community has rallied around both families, but Ms Picken said she did not need any replacement items.