Cell phone video captures images of flames shooting high above a Moorfield Way home in South Sacramento.
Ashes and embers fly, as trees several feet away could not escape the heat.
When firefighters arrived at the home, it was engulfed in flames.
Firefighters from Sacramento City Fire, Cosumnes Fire and Sacramento Metro Fire joined efforts to put the flames out.
Another neighbor described the scene.
"And then the big boom, which the front of the house dropped," neighbor Alisi Finau said.
That noise was possibly the roof, which collapsed while firefighters were inside.
Crews thought one of their own was trapped inside.
"The captain was quick to recognize he did not have his firefighter with him. He was separated because of that roof collapse", Cpt. Chad Augustin, Sacramento City Fire, said. "It is very scary for a fire company when that happens".
The firefighter made it out okay.
Crews then battled the flames from the exterior of the home.
The family that lives there finds comfort with all that is left, each other and their small dog.
"I said, 'I cannot just leave her'," homeowner Bonnie Shiu told FOX40. "I just laid down the phone, ran downstairs through the smoke, opened her cage and grabbed her. She was frozen sitting there".
Shiu's son, Jesse Chan, says he heard a noise coming from outside around 1 o'clock Monday morning.
He opened the front door and saw a small fire on the porch.
He told his parents, who were asleep in bed.
"My dad ran through the front door while the flames were still small. He ran through the front door and grabbed the hose. I went through the garage and opened the garage door," Chan said.
While Chan's father tried putting it out with a hose, neighbors watched the fire disbelief.
"We felt the heat from our balcony, just standing up there", Jocelynn Tupou said. "It was scary, especially for us since it is our first time experiencing a fire".
The American Red Cross was on scene to offer the family temporary assistance.