Hamilton fire crews spent hours on Friday night dousing an abandoned property so scorched by flames that firefighters can't even begin to figure out how it started, officials say.

"It's so heavily damaged that we're just boarding up the whole property," said Dave Christopher, fire safety officer with the Hamilton Fire Department.

Crews were called to Scenic Drive and Sanatorium Road by Chedoke Park just before midnight. The house that was burning has been an issue for firefighters in the past, Christopher says.

The house was not connected to power or gas, so it's possible the fire was suspicious, he added. "But because it's so heavily damaged it's almost impossible to determine a cause," Christopher said.

The Ontario Fire Marshal has not been called because there is so little of the property left to identify, Christopher says.