LAVEEN, Ariz. (AP) _ Fire that apparently began with a chimney problem destroyed the home of former Philadelphia Eagles linebacker Byron Evans on Christmas day.

Evans, his wife and their two children were unharmed.

Damage was estimated at $500,000.

Evans told firefighters he had lighted a fire in the fireplace. A short time later, the wall around the chimney began to heat, then a mirror shattered, and flames were burning in the attic when firefighters arrived, battalion chief Phil Yeager said of the Phoenix Fire Department said.

Yeager said the fire was accidental, but that investigators were trying to determine how it may have spread from the chimney to the house itself.

Evans, who attended high school in Phoenix and played for the University of Arizona prior to his pro career, declined comment. His pro career ended with leg injuries during the 1994 season.