WEST DOVER — No one was home when firefighters responded to Edward's Village Loop for an automatic fire alarm around 4:30 a.m. Tuesday.
"It was a vacation home," said West Dover Fire Chief Rich Werner. "A second home."
Driving up to the scene and seeing flames, Deputy Chief Mike Hescock upgraded the call to a second alarm to bring in more firefighters and equipment.
Significant damage to the residence was noted, however, Werner said he would reserve judgment on determining whether the home was a total loss. The cause of the fire was unknown as of 1 p.m. It was not considered suspicious.
Even though no one was home, fire investigators were asked to check out the scene. People had been there over the weekend.
According to Werner, one section of the house had a solar envelope so heat can circulate. This allowed flames to get to places not so easily accessible for firefighters.
"We had it pretty much knocked down within in an hour," Werner said. "But with the type of construction, we had a few issues putting it out."
At one point, 50 emergency service responders were at the scene assisting with the fire while additional people were helping with the water supply. No injuries were reported.
"The water worked out real well for us," Werner said. "We did pretty good in the beginning but we were having troubles chasing around some hot spots. We had to bring in some new people."