WTOC-TV reports that Mayor Otis Johnson's longtime girlfriend, Shevon Carr, arrived home and saw the fire. She woke the mayor, who was taking a nap when the fire started about 5:30 p.m. Friday.
The two called 911 from a neighbor's house, but firefighters were already en route, having been notified by the alarm system.
After the blaze was out, the mayor tried to salvage whatever he could, but almost everything was damaged by smoke or water. It will be months before he can live in the home.
Johnson plans to live in another home he owns until the burned home is repaired.
Initial indications are that the fire may have started in the heating and air system, but it quickly spread.