ERIE, Pa. - A misused space heater started the fire that caused substantial damage to a home on East 24th Street in Erie Monday night, Erie fire inspectors said.

The flames started around 9:30 p.m. in what was initially believed to be a vacant home.

One man lived there, but he was not home at the time.

The fire started in an area between the kitchen and living room and went up a wall into the second floor and the attic, according to fire inspectors.

"When we first arrived, there was just a heavy volume of smoke that scared almost the entire block," said Mike Balliett, deputy fire chief of the Erie Fire Department. "It was even hard to pick out the house that was on fire. No visible fire showing, just smoke pushing out every crevice of the house."

Balliett said it's likely the home will be considered a total loss.