LITTLETON, Maine — Fire destroyed a small rental home early Sunday, fire officials reported.

The fire at 897 U.S. 1 was reported shortly before 4 a.m., said Littleton Fire Chief Dwight Cowperthwaite.

The small, one-story house was completely engulfed in flames by the time firefighters arrived, he said.

“We knocked it down so it wouldn’t damage the house next door,” said Cowperthwaite, but then firefighters could not do much more than simply keep the flames at bay.

The house was a total loss — leveled. Cowperthwaite was unable to estimate the value of the house.

The house had been vacant for two or three weeks, he said. It is owned by Larry McLean, who lives in a house about 30-40 feet away, according to Cowperthwaite.

The fire appeared to originate in a shed attached to the end of the house, reported Cowperthwaite.

The fire was reported by a passerby, who knocked on McLean’s door to alert him.

Firefighters from Littleton and Monticello responded and obtained water from a dry hydrant a few miles away. They remained on the scene until about 7 a.m.

No injuries were reported.