Winnipeg firefighters battled a large house fire in northwest Winnipeg Wednesday night.

It began just before 11 p.m. at a home on Monty Hall Drive in Seven Oaks Crossing.

It appears the fire started in the garage and spread to the house.

Smoke billowed from the building and flames shot from the roof.

“At that point, the incident commander decided to go with a defensive attack due to the severity of the fire in the house,” said Winnipeg Fire Department Platoon Chief Doug Martin.

Fire crews blocked off the street Wednesday night to make sure bystanders stayed safe.

Neighbours said it was a quiet fire that happened quickly.

“My husband noticed that the alarm clock was flashing, that the power had been out. And so he just got up to fix the clocks and then suddenly walked into the living room and noticed all the flashing lights,” said Gerry Kulik, who lives across the street.

The commotion caught the attention of neighbours near and far. Jussel Mercado saw smoke and flames on his way home and a family shaking in the cold.

“They said their house was on fire. They said it was caused by some accident. So we were like ‘first thing’s first, let's get you guys warm. Let's get you guys inside our car,’” said Mercado.

A witness said that three kids and two grandparents were home at the time of the fire. They said the children's parents are gone on a cruise.

A city spokesperson said that the five residents escaped safely before firefighters arrived.

CTV is told four firetrucks and approximately 40 firefighters battled the blaze. The Winnipeg Police Service and Manitoba Hydro were also on scene and cut power to the area.

Fire crews say no other homes were damaged.

City staff was on scene Thursday working to shut off water that was still spraying in the home.

“I hope god never puts us through that, and if that family ever needs any assistance, we're here to help,” said Amaninder Boparai, who lives nearby.

The cause of the fire remains under investigation, and damage estimates are pending.

A city spokesperson said the family does have insurance.