Firefighters were alerted to the blaze at 11000 Eaglerock Drive in the Farmwood Acres subdivision just before 1:30 p.m.
The home is near Norwood Road, north of I-540.
Getting water to the fire proved to be a challenge, and firefighters had the blaze under control by 2:30.
Investigators said two dogs and two cats perished in the flames. Several cars were also damaged. Wake County tax records show the 3,327 square foot home has a value of $279,425.
Witnesses said they heard an explosion followed by several smaller explosions during the fire. The cause is under investigation.