SHIRLEY -- Firefighters doused a two-alarm blaze that started in the kitchen at 56 Harvard Road Tuesday about 9:30 p.m., said Fire Chief Dennis Levesque.
"He left some hot grease on the counter and it ignited and caught the kitchen on fire," Levesque said.
The first firefighters on scene drew water from a holding tank on a fire engine then supplemented it with water from a hydrant to put out the flames.
It took about 20 minutes to bring the flames under control, but firefighters remained on scene about two hours checking for hot spots and cleaning up, Levesque said.
"The kitchen was completely burnt, but the rest of the house suffered heat and smoke damage," he said.
The house is structurally sound, but the entire interior may need to be gutted and renovated, Levesque said.
The American Red Cross provided temporary housing for the home's resident, whose name was not immediately available.
Firefighters from Ayer and Devens helped at the scene while firefighters from Leominster and Lunenburg manned the Cutler Street headquarters in reserve.
-- JACK MINCH