Gilbert home destroyed in early morning fire

A Gilbert house was destroyed, but everyone got out safe because of their smoke detectors.

Smoke was seen billowing out of the roof of a large home in Gilbert near Higley and Elliot. The fire broke out very early Tuesday morning in the attic while the family was inside asleep. The blare of the smoke detector woke them up; that alarm was a real lifesaver.

"It did not seem real in the beginning, smoke was everywhere, I grabbed my dad and grabbed them," said one resident.

"She just came down and said there's a fire, and smoke everywhere in the house, everywhere," said another resident.

Gilbert Firefighters rushed to the scene and found the 6,700 square foot home in flames. Firefighters say the home, complete with a basement, was so huge it was more like fighting a fire at a good-sized business. Mesa Fire sent crews, a total of 35 firefighters were on the scene.

"Well tell people small home, small attic, you can get after it. But big homes built over roofs, are a tough firefighter," said Mike Connor.

It took hours to extinguish the flames. Firefighters used to much was it was hard to tell where the swimming pool was in the back yard. This palatial home is now in shambles.

"Just kind of sad, it hits you on and off. The memories there and stuff in the house, don't know if it's ok. It's a frustrating feeling not knowing what to expect," said a resident.

Fire investigators are working to determine what caused the fire.