Gilbert family escapes house fire unharmed

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GILBERT, Ariz. -- Investigators are trying to determine what sparked a fire that destroyed a Gilbert home early Thursday morning.

Firefighters were called to the scene near Warner and Greenfield roads at about 4 a.m. When they arrived, flames were already shooting through the roof.

The homeowners said they awoke to the sound of the doorbell ringing. Crews said the fire likely burned the wires, causing them to short and set off the doorbell.

The homeowners realized they smelled smoke and opened the door from the kitchen to the garage to see what what happening. That's when they spotted the flames.

They were able to get out safely.

Firefighters evacuated the house next door as a precaution. Those neighbors, who have since been allowed back into their home, said they heard several explosions.

"[We heard] big booms," Shannon Arroyo said. "We didn't realize they were explosions until the fire department told us. It was just loud thumping noises."

"I saw the front of the garage was engulfed," explained Bob Stearns, Arroyo's father. "I was surprised when 20 minutes later, the roof collapsed. It went really, really fast."

Capt. Mike Connor of the Gilbert Fire Department said the flames spread quickly from the garage to the rest of the home. Crews went defensive almost immediately, pouring water on the home from the outside and trying to protect the neighbors' homes.

While the house is a total loss, no injuries were reported. Investigators do not yet know how the fire started.

It's not clear if there were any working smoke detectors inside the home.