From Chopper 7, the extent of the damage is evident. Crews spent most of the morning and part of the afternoon fighting the flames.
Fire officials say the call came in around 10:30 am. However, they say the fire was burning long before they arrived.
Exactly who made the call to 911 is unclear. But the real question authorities are trying to answer is how the fire started.
The homeowner's brother told us that a cigarette was to blame.
"He probably went to sleep. And probably cigarette. Probably caught something on fire cause he smokes," said McKinley Moseley.
R. L. Moseley, the owner of the home, declined to speak on camera, but he told our crew that rats started the fire.
He says that rats were in a drawer that contained matches. Somehow the rats sparked the matches which caught some papers on fire. From there, the fire spread to the rest of the home.
"He's really unable to tell us exactly where the fire started. So we'll have to come back after the fire's cooled down and try to make that determination," said Smith County Assistant Fire Marshal Oren Hale.
Moseley escaped the fire without any injuries. Officials plan to return to the scene Wednesday to investigate.
Chapel Hill, Arp, and Jackson Heights fire crews are working on extinguishing a large house fire east of Tyler.
The house on County Road 21 south of Highway 31 E. was completely engulfed with flames when fire crews arrived on the scene just before 10:00 am, Tuesday.
The homeowner's brother says a cigarette is to blame for sparking fire, but the homeowner claims rats ignited matches in a drawer which caught some papers on fire, sparking the blaze.
Fire officials have not confirmed an exact cause of the fire, but the Smith County Fire Marshal is heading to the scene.
The house looks to be a complete loss. No one was injured in the fire.
Tuesday, September 2 2014 6:45 PM EDT2014-09-02 22:45:12 GMT
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