A family of five escaped a dramatic New Year's Day house fire in St. Vital unharmed but their home was completely gutted.

A neighbour told CTV News the family went to his house in the middle of the afternoon and asked him to call 911 because of smoke and moments later the house was engulfed.

The home is located at St Mary's Road and Havelock Avenue.

Smoke billowing from the fire could be seen from downtown and throughout the southern part of the city.