A mother and four children escaped a Waterloo house fire late Saturday afternoon (Nov. 11, 2017).

Firefighters were called out to battle the blaze at the corner of Randall and Norimer Streets just after 4:30 p.m.

"Coming across town, we could see the column of smoke," said Battalion Chief Mike Moore of Waterloo Fire Rescue. "We knew it was an active fire."

The home in the 600 block of Randall St. is located just off U.S. Highway 63 where it enters downtown Waterloo. When crews arrived, they found the one-story structure completely engulfed in flames.

According to Moore, a space heater in a bedroom caught fire and the flames spread to the back of the home. He said the flames went through a window and climbed the back wall up to the roof.

The woman and kids all got out of the house without injury, Moore said. The Red Cross was being notified to assist the family.

A witness, Helen Cochran of Waterloo, said it appeared there was very little time for anyone inside the house to get out after the fire started. She said the woman didn't have any shoes on when she left the home.

At the scene, Moore described the damage to the home as significant. He said a complete assessment would need to be done once the fire was out, but the house would likely not be a total loss.