Smoke and flames billowed out of a wooden home in Berkeley - a home surrounded by trees.
NBC Bay Area's helicopter flew overhead just before noon on Wednesday to see the blaze. No injures were reported, but the firefighters appeared to be working hard to prevent the flames from touching the nearby trees.
The home is in the 1100 block of Keith Avenue, very close to the heavily wooded Tilden Park and in the Berkeley hills.
Fire fighters said they were told to evacuate the building and go into a defense position around 12:30 p.m.
The second and third stories of the three story home were fully engulfed.
Just before 1 p.m. the crews appeared to have the fire under control as the once thick, heavy black smoke turned to puffy white,
Fire officials did not announce a cause. The fire appeared to start on the top floor.
Interim fire Chief Gil Dong said the fire was contained as of 12:25 p.m. but about an hour later smoke and flames were still coming from the third floor.
Acting deputy fire Chief Averyn Webb said the fire mainly was confined to the home's second and third floors and nearby homes weren't damaged, although there were some scary moments and nearby residents were advised but not forced to evacuate.
Investigators are still trying to determine the cause of the fire and the amount of damage to the house hasn't been assessed, Webb said.
He said it was "difficult" for firefighters to get to the house and battle the blaze because the roads are curvy and narrow, there are a lot of trees and long hoses had to be run up the hill to carry water to the house.
Webb said five engines, two trucks, two ambulances and additional fire personnel responded to fight the fire.
Bay City News contributed to this report.