Nine fire engines showed up Thursday morning to the corner of Palm and Belleview in Porterville to help knock down the flames coming from the two-story house.
Thirty-six firefighters from three different fire departments battled the fire at the 35 hundred square foot home in Porterville.
A neighbor reported seeing smoke and flames pouring out of the house.
"We called a general alarm which would be all of our off duty resources we also requested additional resources in the form of engines and breathing support to help us out," Porterville Fire Chief Glenn Irish said.
Porterville fire, Tulare County Fire and Cal Fire departments were all there and fire officials had a water tender on stand-by in case flames spread to a yellow house next door.
The fire chief says the widespread destruction made it difficult for firefighters.
"As I talked to some of our first arriving firefighters and I'm looking at their condition as they're coming out of the house putting on additional air bottles they're going on their 2nd and 3rd air bottles and I can tell they're really tired their faces are beet red," Irish said.
The elderly couple who lives in the home wasn't there at the time but investigators say the couple's dog died in the fire.
Adel Algumei works at the market down nearby. He says the thick smoke spread down Belleview Street.
"They're really nice people and they're working and they always leave early in the morning to work. And they came back in the afternoon so they didn't know I think somebody call them and came back and they're really sad," Algumei said.
Firefighters believe the house is a total loss. An interagency task force is now looking into the exact cause of the fire.