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ST. HELENA PARISH – A fire that completely destroyed the home of Emmitt Perry, the father of comedian and actor/writer Tyler Perry, on Monday night is under investigation.

Fire officials think that it could have been an electrical fire, but they are not ruling out other options.

Emmitt Perry said that he heard a noise and then saw flames.

"I hear something popping in the attic. I went upstairs and looked at it....I didn't smell smoke, or see smoke,then I went outside and I saw the flames coming from the back fireplace," Perry said.

One day following the fire, Perry is staying with family nearby. Firefighters say that Perry was home alone around 8 p.m. on Monday when the fire began.

"The house is just under 14,000 square feet, so he had smoke detectors all over the house," Brad Graves, of the St. Helena Fire Department, said.

Firefighters said they used 30,000 gallons of water on the blaze. The fire is still under investigation, however with so little of the structure remaining, investigators have their hands full with figuring out how it started.

Perry said that the fire took its toll.

"It's a hurting hurting thing, some of those things I never will be able to replace," Perry said.

Officials say the fire was one of the largest they have had to battle since the high school burned down in Greensburg in 2008.

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