DALLAS COUNTY, Iowa — Five area fire departments battled a blaze at a home in rural Woodward early Tuesday morning.

The fire broke out around 6:00 a.m. at 14182 Bittersweet Road and the home was quickly engulfed in flame. All four family members were able to make it out of the home safely.

Asst. Fire Chief Karl Harris with the Woodward Volunteer Fire Department said the fire was discovered by the father of the family, who had left for work but turned around because he forgot to let out the chickens. He could see the flames as he approached home and woke his family up to evacuate.

Harris said arriving fire crews could see the flames from the home from about three miles away.

“Once we got it knocked down we were able to put interior teams in and finish putting the fire out and do the mop-up. Heavy damage to the structure, it’s probably a total loss,” said Harris.

The Woodward Volunteer Fire Department was first to respond but fire crews from Bouton, Granger, Madrid, and Perry were called in for mutual aid. Water had to be trucked in to fight the fire.

No injuries were reported and all but one pet escaped the fire.

Harris said the fire likely started in the chimney of a fireplace that was being used to heat the home.