Firefighters battled a blaze at a home in Needham on Friday.
An elderly couple and another adult inside the Aletha Road home saw the fire, got out and called 911.
The fire was reported shortly before noon. Heavy, black smoke could be seen pouring out of the building, with flames shooting from the roof.
"From my living room window we saw the smoke and we stepped outside and the smoke was overwhelming," said Cindy Swartz, who lives in the neighborhood.
It’s a tri-level home and firefighters believe the fire started somewhere on the middle level.
Firefighters say they made good progress on the initial fire where it started, but it had spread to the attic which made things much more problematic.
"Once the fire in this type of house where there’s not a stairway to get up in the attic once the fire gets up there it’s very difficult to get at it if there’s a lot of household stuff up there, bag and boxes," Chief Dennis Condon with the Needham Fire Department explained.
Photos from the scene showed the home was heavily damaged, including a partial roof collapse.
Firefighters from several area departments responded to the scene.
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Investigators say there were a lot of belongings up in the attic. There’s now a gaping hole in the roof and the home is pretty much a total loss.
Neighbors say the family has lived here for decades.
“It’s tragic, like wow, how did this happen," neighbor Cindy Swartz said.
Nobody was injured and the cause of the fire has yet to be determined.