A $2.7million hilltop home built to withstand fire has been destroyed - by a brush fire.

The house, in Santa Rosa, California, was destroyed despite the best efforts of firefighters on the ground and in the air.

"I was real disappointed when this house went. It was something we couldn't have prevented," said California Department of Forestry Battalion Chief Roy Sprague.

"It was the most beautiful home, incredible, " said Virginia Katz, the agent who was trying to sell the property.

"I'm just stunned and devastated for my client."

Ironically, the tiled roof, which would typically protect it from fire, proved its undoing, Sprague said.