Fire devastated a townhome off Reedy Ridge Lane in a North Raleigh neighborhood near Brier Creek.
The blaze ignited after 6 p.m. Saturday evening just as Rich Thompson was taking a shower next door.
"And then all of a sudden my sister came up and said there was a fire on the back deck," Thompson said. "Pretty much the whole back side of the unit next to me had already been engulfed on the back side of it."
Two people house-sitting the home were not inside. Raleigh firefighters say they responded within four minutes and killed the flames within fifteen minutes.
Since the fire started near the patio, crews initially thought the fire originated from a grill. Investigators are still trying to determine the cause.
Right now, crews say it does not seem suspicious.
It's an inconvenience for the victims and surrounding neighbors whose homes took some of the fire's blows - with melted siding and lots of smoke. But it could have had a much less desirable outcome.
"It is what it is. It could have been much, much worse," Thompson said. "I'm just thankful everybody is all right."
About 50 to 70 percent of this home is destroyed. There were two cats inside during the fire.
They were rescued.