Fire gutted an East Chilhowie Avenue residence early Sunday morning.
Johnson City firefighters were called to 1114 E. Chilhowie Ave., just after 6 a.m. and found the house in flames. No one was home at the time.
Capt. Steve Weaver said the house was a complete loss. Firefighters needed 35 minutes to extinguish the blaze but continued to work on hot spots awhile Sunday morning.
Three engines initially responded to the fire, Weaver said, and a fourth ladder track arrived later to provide additional manpower. A total of 24 firefighters responded.
Weaver said the house had several layers of walls and lowered ceilings, so there were numerous "voids" that made the fire hard to reach.
Fire flared up again Sunday afternoon, so firefighters returned to the house to wet down hot spots.
Though the cause remained under investigation Sunday afternoon, Weaver said, fire officials thought the blaze originated in the basement.
Weaver said he thought the American Red Cross had been contacted to the assist the residents.