ASHLAND—A three-alarm blaze destroyed an Ashland home early today. The family was vacationing in the Carolinas when authorities alerted them.

“It went to three alarms pretty quickly,” said Peter Chisholm, spokesman for the Ashland Fire Department.

The fire was reported at 6:20 a.m. when a passerby noticed the shooting flames, he said.

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Firefighters had to battle the blaze from outside of the house because the fire was so massive, Chisholm said.

“It’s probably totally destroyed, unfortunately,” he said of the Grover Road home.

This is the second house fire in Ashland in the past three months, he said.

It is unclear how long the Grover Road house had been burning when authorities got the call.

“It was unoccupied, so who knows how long it was burning for,” said Lieutenant Keith Robie.

Lieutenant David Iarussi, an investigator with the Ashland Fire Department, called the family to inform them of the incident.

“They said they already heard about it,” he said. “Between text messages and phone calls, nothing takes too long these days.”

The cause of the fire is under investigation by the State Fire Marshal’s office and the Ashland Fire Department.

Ashland firefighters asked surrounding towns for help fighting the fire, including Hopkinton, Southboro, Framingham, Sherborn, Holliston, Milford, and Natick.