FOLLY BEACH, S.C. (WCIV) -- Ryan Fogarty was inside his home when he and his friend heard a commotion outside.
"My buddy stepped outside and my buddy was like, 'Oh my God, come outside! A house is on fire," said Fogarty.
Moments later flames were sky high, engulfing a two story home that housed 3 apartments.
"They were really high for a couple seconds there. I mean they were catching the top of the pine trees, which is a good 15 feet above the house," Fogarty said. "To be honest, I stepped out of my house on my porch and you could actually feel the heat coming off of it."
Folly Beach Public Safety, James Island and Charleston firefighters responded to the fire on the eighth block of East Ashley Avenue Friday afternoon.
Officials say the blaze severely damaged the home but, they were able to save much of the property.
"For how big it was I think over half of the house is still standing. I think they did a great job," said Fogarty.
Investigators say the fire started on second floor, and took crews just 15 minutes to put out. But, in that time heavy smoke took over the Folly Beach neighborhood.
"It looked volcanic -- Huge plumes of smoke," said Siobhan Solomon, who was on vacation on Folly.
Neighbors heard a popping noise as firefighters put out the blaze.
"Some police or official types said, 'you hear that popping sound. You need to move back. You need to be safe. That popping sound is actually ammunition," said Solomon.
No on was injured in the fire and the cause is still under investigation.