Updated at 5 a.m.
Firefighters from Mentor Fire Department and about 10 other area departments fought a house fire at 4774 Orchard Road in the Mentor Headlands neighborhood for more than 15 hours.
Authorities believe the fire was accidental and started with food that was left on the stove, Battalion Chief Kevin Edmond said.
The woman who lives in the home is safe, Mentor Fire Public Information Officer Nathan Peters said.
She had left their house earlier today and when she returned Tuesday afternoon, she found it on fire, Peters said. She evacuated the house safely and called the fire department for help.
A cat that lives in the home was not found Tuesday.
The Mentor Fire Department received the call at about 2:25 p.m. Tuesday. They arrived soon thereafter and already saw flames coming out of three of the windows, Edmond said.
Firefighters entered the home and tried to fight the blaze from the inside, but the high winds outside and the amount of clutter inside the house made it dangerous, Edmond said.
The firefighters decided to evacuate, concerned that the fire might trap them inside.
Consequently, firefighters went to an external attack -- spraying the house with water from the outside, Edmond said.
At 4 p.m., Edmond guessed that firefighters would be fighting the blaze for the next six to eight hours. However, even those estimates have been exceeded.
Fire Departments from Willoughby, Wickliffe, Eastlake, Mentor-on-the-Lake, Concord Township, Kirtland, Grand River, Fairport Harbor, Painesville and Painesville Township helped -- either by sending firefighters to Orchard Road or having them cover Mentor fire stations while the Mentor firefighters are at the fire.
The firefighters at the Orchard Road fire took turns so no one got exhausted or hurt, Edmond added.
Though the firefighters don't know exactly how much damage the fire will do, the fire has already gotten into the walls and the building is likely unsafe structurally.