All it took was a big gust of wind from the south, and a small fire in the back of the house become a great big mess.
The call came in at 4:30pm, from the 4600 block of Western Hills Drive.
'As they pulled out of the station, they could see the column of smoke in the sky,' said Mike Whitsell of the West Des Moines Fire Department.
The fire at Roger and Kay Wisecup's home was being fed by the wind.
'It makes it very, very difficult,' said Whitsell. 'As we`re coming in the front door, that fire and that heat is being pushed right at us.'
There have been five home fires in West Des Moines in the last six days, and this was perhaps the most dangerous, Whitsell said.
'Once the flames went through the roof, the roof started kind of sagging in, and we had to pull our crews out.'
Hot enough to melt aluminum gutters and turn vinyl siding into fuel, the fire totaled this home but didn't reach others nearby. It's still unclear how it started.