Thunder Bay firefighters faced some challenges as they battled a house fire in a rural area on the city's north side for most of the day on Tuesday.

One person was taken to hospital from the scene, but deputy fire chief Greg Hankkio said it wasn't clear if that was the result of the fire.

Crews were called to the house on Onion Lake Road just after 9 a.m. 

Half a dozen fire vehicles responded, along with police and ambulance personnel. CBC reporter Gord Ellis reported "an incredible amount of smoke" coming out of the house, and flames licking out of the roof.

There is no fire hydrant near the large lot, so fire trucks had to carry water up and down a long driveway and along Onion Lake Road to fill up from the closest hydrant. 

Police blocked Onion Lake Road to through traffic during the firefighting effort.

Hankkio said the first crew to arrive was able to attack the fire briefly from the outside, then began an interior attack. But firefighters had to withdraw due to low air supplies in their oxygen tanks and due to a low water supply.

He told CBC News "unfortunately the fire got away on us."

A news release from the fire service later Tuesday said the fire was knocked down at first, but got a foothold in the attic of the home, and grew "to the point where an interior attack was no longer possible."

Occupants of the home had safely got out of the building before firefighters arrived.

Hankkio said the Ontario Fire Marshal's office is investigating the cause of the fire.