SANFORD — Sanford firefighters battled a blaze Monday morning that badly damaged a ranch-style home at 87 Farview Drive Monday morning.

Neighbors spotted smoke coming from the house at 11:17 a.m. and when the first call firefighter arrived, there was smoke coming from the eaves and from around the garage door, said Fire Chief Jeff Rowe.

The firefighter alerted the homeowner, who was able to retrieve his two dogs and get out of the house. He was then taken to Goodall Hospital for evaluation but was able to return to the scene soon afterward, Rowe said. The fire got into the attic space, making it difficult for firefighters to get access to it, Rowe said, and strong winds fanned the flames adding to the challenge.

Firefighters had it under control by noon, but there was a large hole in the roof, he said. The Red Cross was helping the young couple that lives there, he said.

Investigators from Sanford and the State Fire Marshal’s Office are working to determine the cause,he said.