A fire that consumed a two-storey home in West St. Paul on Wednesday was sparked in a vehicle parked inside an attached garage, say emergency officials.

The flames quickly spread to the house and into the attic. The family sleeping inside was alerted by a smoke detector and able to safely escape.

Firefighters were able to salvage some of the family's belongings from the main level, including computers, before everything else was lost.

"The first thing, we can pray to God the family's OK. That's the main concern." - Parmjeet Gill

Crews were called just before 5 a.m. CT to the home, tucked behind trees on a sparsely populated stretch of Mollard Road, just north of Winnipeg's Amber Trails subdivision. 

Thick, heavy smoke filled the frigid air, shrouding firefighters, though flames could be seen coming out of the roof of the house at one point.

By 8:30 a.m., the roof was gone.

Smoky house fire

Thick smoke silhouettes firefighters at a home on Mollard Road on Wednesday morning. (Meaghan Ketcheson/CBC)

The garage, too, is gutted and has collapsed save for one wall.

The home's second level and the remains of the roofline are ringed in black, charred material.

According to a neighbour, the family just moved into the house in September.

Parmjeet Gill, secretary of the Sikh Society of Manitoba, said he knows the family because they've been members of the society for years.

"[It's] kind of devastating," he said about the fire. "The first thing, we can pray to God the family's OK. That's the main concern."

Water tub

There is no fire hydrant in the area so a water truck was brought in and filled a portable tank, set up on the street. (Meaghan Ketcheson/CBC)

Aside from the cold, fire crews also faced a challenge with the lack of available water.

There is no fire hydrant in the area — the house backs onto one farm field and faces another — so a water truck was brought in and used to fill a portable tank, set up on the street.

The water was then pumped into fire trucks and then out through the hoses.

House on Mollard Road

The two-storey house is tucked behind trees and surrounded by farm fields. (Google Street View)

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With files from Meaghan Ketcheson