UPDATE: Man charged with deliberately lighting house fire
UPDATE: A MAN has been charged with an act of arson after a family lost everything in a house fire at the weekend.
The 37-year-old, who police say is known to the family, was arrested on Monday and has been charged with damage property by fire.
He was bail refused and has been ordered to undergo a mental health assessment.
Once released from Coffs Harbour Base Hospital he is due to have a court date assigned.
MONDAY: COFFS Clarence Police are currently holding a man in custody in relation to yesterday's house fire.
Police have arrested a 37-year-old man over the incident after their investigation.
The man is undergoing mental health assessments today.
Police said investigating officers will assess the case at the completion of the assessments.
EARLIER: A FIRE has completely gutted a family's home on Oriana Street this afternoon, with emergency services having to battle to put out the blaze.
The fire occurred just after 3pm, with emergency services getting a 000 call to attend the scene around 3.20pm
Coffs Harbour Fire and Rescue station commander Steve Ellis said neighbours were battling the flames with hoses when they arrived.
"We were redirected from a bush fire to come here and when we arrived the house was well alight with flames out through the front windows," commander Ellis said.
"The neighbours were in attendance with garden hoses and our crew quickly got to work and extinguished the fire and searched the building for any occupants."
Commander Ellis said no occupants were found inside the building, with paramedics assisting kittens who had been affected by the fire.
Commander Ellis said he was unsure whether the home had fire alarms, but it will form part of the investigation.
"We don't have an idea how the fire started yet, we're still in the process of extinguishing hot spots in the building.
"Police are on scene and are speaking with the occupants and the matter will be investigated by the police.
"It's a timely reminder to people to make sure their house keeping is in order.
"There's a fair amount of piled up, disused material under this building which will take a while to clear out and make sure it's fully extinguished."