One man is in hospital after his desperate attempts to battle a fire in his home went awry Sunday morning.

According to Campbell River fire chief Thomas Doherty, crews were called to the 3700-block of the South Island Highway at 3:36 a.m. and found a single-story home engulfed in flames.

"First crews arrived on scene and had fire coming through the roof of the structure and quickly spreading throughout the living areas as well," said Doherty.

The fire chief says the home's three occupants arrived home to discover fire up in the building's roof level. One of those individuals then climbed up onto the roof to battle the blaze before crews arrived.

Doherty says he can understand why the attempt was made but highly recommends against doing so.

"When your house is on fire and they're losing all of their possessions (the first thought) is to do what they can, certainly," he said. "But it does pose a risk, obviously, and it creates a bit more of a hazard for the firefighters as well."

Video of the frantic scene captured by a neighbour shows the man on top of the roof over top of a section of the home that was on fire, while flames were a short distance away, already burning through the roof.

"It's very fortunate that they did not fall into the fire. Should he have fallen in we would have had to change tactics to go into that building a lot quicker," said Doherty.

Investigators were on the scene Monday morning to try to determine a cause for the blaze.

"If you do have an event, keep safety in mind and make sure you don't put yourself at any undue risk that could cause you injury."