The 81-year-old owner of a Beaconsfield home destroyed by fire on Tuesday morning said he received a call from one of his neighbours telling him his "house was gone".
Nye Evans' High Street home of more than 14 years was completely gutted by the fire, which was called-in about 10.15am.
Six units from Beaconsfield, Kelso and Gravelly Beach fire brigades helped extinguish the blaze, which had fully engulfed the home on arrival.
Mr Evans said he had stayed with a friend at Beauty Point on Monday night and wasn't at home when the fire broke out.
"A neighbour phoned me to say you need to come home, your house is gone," he said.
"I knew nothing about it. The police came and got me and brought me here."
Sergeant Scott McKinnell of Exeter police station said firefighters were able to extinguish the blaze in about 15 minutes, but the house was fully destroyed.
"The occupant wasn't home at the time so fortunately no one has been injured," he said.
"He was shocked, disappointed. He wasn't home over night and hasn't been home during the day.
"He had a lot of antiques and valuables in the home, which he had collected over many years. So it is very upsetting to him."
Fire scene investigators were expected to attend the scene on Tuesday afternoon to determine the cause.
Sergeant McKinnell said there didn't appear to be any suspicious circumstances.