The cause is still under investigation, but firefighters believe it was probably portable space heaters that caused the fire. The furnace was also running inside, so investigators are also looking at a possible electrical malfunction, according to Layton Fire Department spokesman Doug Bitton.
The home, at 432 N. 3475 West, in Layton, was nearing completion, with only some exterior rock and stucco and finishing work on the interior, Bitton said.
Plastic draping had been attached to the back exterior portion of the house. A burned propane cylinder was also found in a neighbor's yard.
A 911 caller reported seeing a big cloud of gray smoke near the structure about 2 a.m. The caller also reported smelling the fire, Bitton said.
When crews arrived, flames, as high as 20 feet, were beginning to escape through the roof.
"It was a hot, aggressive fire on a cold night," Bitton said.
The fire raced throughout the structure and into the attic space. Most of the damage was to the roof, Bitton said.
With temperatures hovering near 18 degrees, water froze on concrete surfaces almost as soon as it hit, causing slippery conditions for firefighters to work in.
"We called in a snow plow with sand and salt to help with those conditions," Bitton said. No one was injured.
Crews had to use two hydrants, each using 350 gallons per minute.
"We estimate we used 10,000 gallons of water," Bitton said.
Crews fought the blaze using an aerial attack.
Twenty-six firefighters, including some from Syracuse and Sunset helped fight the blaze
Estimated loss is $200,000.
Bitton issued a warning for those using portable heaters.
"Be diligent when using them," he said. "There's a high risk rate for fires."
When using portable heaters, plug them into a wall outlet, not into an extension cord, he said. Give three feet of clearance between the heater and combustible materials like drapes, beding or paper, and use the most modern technology.