Flames engulfed an abandoned house at 1211 Gilbert St. in Durham, leaving firefighters to focus on protecting neighboring homes early Sunday.
Officials said neighbors called firefighters after seeing the flames and smoke at about 3:30 a.m.
There was heavy fire in the one-story house when the first trucks arrived, and the neighbors told firefighters the building had been empty, Deputy Chief Chris Iannuzzi said.
The house was a total loss.
One neighboring house had a broken window and damage to its electric meter from the heat of the fire, Iannuzzi said.