MINDEN — A Minden house was destroyed early this morning after fire broke out in the basement.

At 3:30 a.m. the Minden Volunteer Fire Department responded to a structure fire at 609 N. Nebraska Ave., a single-family dwelling. Two residents were home at the time, Fire Chief Tom Brown said, but fled the house after smelling smoke.

The fire started in the basement, Brown said, and spread to two rooms in the upstairs level.

“That was what hampered us, fighting it from the basement and upstairs level,” Brown said. “It was very hot. The fire load in the house was very high.”

It took firefighters from five departments three hours to extinguish the blaze.

The cause of the fire is being investigated by the Nebraska State Fire Marshal’s Office. Brown estimated the house suffered $125,000-150,000 in damage and is a total loss.

“For three o’clock in the morning we had a pretty quick response time. It was just a really hard-working fire,” said Brown. “For all the towns that came into help, we really appreciate it.”

Members of Quad Cities Mutual Aid, including volunteer firefighters from Axtell, Wilcox, Hildreth and Franklin, responded to the scene. Each department sent about 10 firefighters, Brown said.