By Jermont Terry

KILDEER, Ill. (CBS) — An intense fire destroyed a house late Wednesday in northwest suburban Kildeer.

From Chopper 2, huge flames were seen coming from the home at 21469 Meadowlark Ln. After the fire was out, the house was deemed a total loss.

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As CBS 2’s Jermont Terry reported, it took 45 minutes to knock down the fire. But the house was destroyed – with the roof first collapsing onto the second floor, then the second floor collapsing onto the first.

As firefighters tried to put out the fire, they needed to make sure it didn’t jump to nearby homes as flames shot dangerously out of the house.

A mother, father, and adult daughter were inside the house that caught fire and did escape. But immediate neighbors were worried about their own homes as they watched the fire burn.

Fire crews were successful in keeping the fire from jumping to any other homes.

Keith and Teresa Kovanda live next door.

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“It’s close – we’re right next door,” said Keith Kovanda. “Grateful to our rescuers.”

“The neighbors were telling us about the trees and everything, and they were spraying our house and everything to keep it safe,” said Teresa Kovanda.

Teresa Kovanda said the people who lived in the house that burned down said a Christmas tree was to blame for starting the fire.

“They were a little upset, because the animals didn’t make it out – but they were happy they were OK, and they told us about the Christmas tree that had started it,” she said.

Fire investigators confirmed they are looking at holiday decorations as a possible cause.

There are no fire hydrants in the remote suburban community. Fire crews brought in tanker trucks with water.

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Some 15 area fire departments assisted, and were to remain on the scene overnight to check for hot spots.