ASHLAND - Exploding ammunition briefly kept firefighters from extinguishing a fire that heavily damaged a borough home Saturday morning.

It was just before 9:30 a.m. when firefighters were called to the home at 1307 Arch St. for a report of a fire with people trapped.

It was soon learned that the occupants of the structure, Daniel and Mary Dougal, were not home when the fire started, Ashland police Patrolman Mark O'Hearn said.

Arriving on scene within minutes, O'Hearn, along with Ashland Fire Chief Phillip Groody, said ammunition could be heard going off inside the rear kitchen area of the home, where the worst of the fire was located.

"We had to get back; we couldn't get near it," O'Hearn said.

Groody said crews used a hose line to quickly knock down the heavy fire to the rear of the building while another crew took a hose through the front of the home and attacked from that direction.

The heavy fire was extinguished within minutes, Groody said. He added that firefighters worked for about an hour to put out flames that worked their way into the walls.

"We knocked it down fast and kept it to the back of the house," Groody said.

He said that portion of the home sustained heavy fire damage while smoke damage was evident throughout the rest of the building.

O'Hearn said the bullets and gunpowder were used by the homeowner to reload ammunition. There were about 500 rounds inside, he said.

Groody said the cause of the blaze is under investigation, but it does not appear suspicious.

All Ashland firefighters responded to the call, along with volunteers from Girardville, Fountain Springs, Mount Carmel, Gordon, Altamont and Englewood, along with Girardville and Ashland EMS units and Shenandoah ALS.

Groody said no injuries were reported.