LIBERTY HILL, Texas (KXAN) — Just a year and three months after the loss of their mother, a house fire has dealt a Liberty Hill family a multi-level tragedy. The blaze happened just days before Christmas, on the birthday of the family’s youngest daughter, and led to the deaths of all three family dogs.

The Liberty Hill fire marshal said the fire started around 11 a.m. on Friday. The exact cause of the blaze is undetermined but arson has firmly been ruled out, the marshal said.

Pat Hernandez and his daughter lived in the residence for five years and are now staying with family in Austin.

Hernandez said he went back to the house to feed the family’s pets that morning when he noticed smoke coming from the home.

“I opened the front door and just smoke came out,” said Hernandez.

The fire started in a closet in a back room of the home. The home looks untouched from the outside, but soot covers nearly every surface. Water damage and the bootprints of firefighters also track throughout the home.

Hernandez had been renting the home from landlord Andrew Morefield who is now helping to raise funds for the family.

Morefield said he is trying to offer support for the family after a difficult year.

“I’ve had some things go wrong. And I know how important it is when people kind of support you,” Morefield said.

Hernandez said, for now, he’s trying to get through this latest challenge day by day. He and Morefield are waiting to hear back from insurance adjusters to determine if the home is a total loss. If it’s able to be repaired, Hernandez said he hopes to move back in.

Morefield has set up a page for the family. Hernandez’s extended family has also indicated they may host another fundraiser in the near future.