AN ABSENT-MINDED action amid an emergency may have saved David Montgomery's home from total destruction.

When fire broke out in the lounge room of his Ipswich St home, Mr Montgomery was fast asleep.

It was only the smash of a television - not the fire alarms - that woke him.

"I didn't wake up to the alarm," he said.

What apparently saved his home from being razed to the ground was one simple action - closing the front door.

"When I left the house I closed the front door and that has starved the fire of oxygen," he said.

"I don't know why but I'm pretty glad I did."

The salmon pink walls turn to black about one metre from the floor throughout the 90-year-old Queenslander home.

While it is still standing, the fire burnt a hole through the floor and the ceiling collapsed through the burnt timber.

He purchased the home about a year ago as a hobby project, he said.

Despite the damage, Mr Montgomery was remarkably upbeat while cleaning the debris from the house.

The former military officer turned nursing student said people lived in worse conditions than the remnants of the home.

"I've got insurance whereas a lot of people don't," he said.

"I hope to rebuild.

"If I can suggest one thing to people, it's to have all the alarms hooked up together so the one in the bedroom goes off as well," he said.

What started the fire is yet to be determined but it is believed an electrical fault may have been the cause.

Mr Montgomery applauded the Queensland Fire and Rescue crews for their quick arrival on the scene about 12.20am Monday.

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