It was an exhausting battle as fierce flames tore through a home on 2nd Avenue in Altoona Tuesday evening.

The house is a total loss, but luckily no one was inside at the time.

Neighbors watched the fire in disbelief.

“It looked like a huge fireball coming out of a roof,” Layna Trainer, who saw the fire said. “That’s what it looked like.”

The fire started in the basement, eventually rising to the attic, bursting through the roof and windows.

“It doesn’t look to us like there’s going to be anything to salvage from the house,” Altoona Fire Chief Tim Hileman said. 

Emergency crews rushed to the scene. The smoke was so bad they eventually had to call crews out and wait for extra manpower.

“The flames took off up through the walls,” Chief Hileman said. “Pretty much we had flames coming out of every opening of the house at one point.”

Fire officials, EMS, and police all blocked people from the scene. However, that didn’t stop some from running up the street to see if everyone was okay.

“I just ran straight up here as fast as i could and there it was,” Trent Boisvert said.

Nearly 2-hours later the fire was controlled. The incident is still being investigated, but right now fire crews think a space heater is to blame.

The family of four is being assisted by the American Red Cross.