A Monday night fire caused substantial damage to a St. Elmo home.

When firefighters arrived at the scene the entire front of the home was ablaze, according to Chattanooga Fire Dept. Battalion Chief Chris Willmore.

The fire spread to the attic, but firefighters were able to enter the house and battle the fire and prevent it from spreading further.

Two nearby homes were protected by firefighters because they were so close to the burning structure.

Willmore said the homeowner had just arrived home when the fire was discovered. 

The homeowner, his wife and child were able to escape the burning house without injury. 

All three will be staying with family, according to Bruce Garner, Public Information Director for the Chattanooga Fire Department.

Fire investigators said the fire appears to have started on the front porch, but the source remains under investigation. 

The dollar loss was estimated at $100,000.