The blaze started about 2:45 p.m. in the garage area of the home, Smith County Assistant Fire Marshal Oren Hale said.
Homeowner Mark Crews said he was in a back pasture working when he saw smoke.
“I couldn’t see the house, all I could see was smoke,” he said. “I called my dad and told him to go see what was on fire, but I think a passerby saw it before him because he was inside.”
No one was inside the home when it caught fire, and the only casualties in the blaze were the couple’s three teacup Yorkshire Terriers.
“That’s the only thing I was worried about,” homeowner Sue Ann Crews said. “Everything else can be replaced, except my babies. That’s the one thing I lost.
Mrs. Crews said the terriers were like family.
“The kids go off to college, and that’s all you have left is your babies,” she said. “I kiss them goodbye every morning.”
“There was heavy fire in the garage area, out the roof in the center of the house, and it was rolling out the front of the attic toward the front of the house,” Garner said.
The fire was too heavy to go inside to rescue the pups, but Garner said firefighters did break out a door to the room where the pups were supposed to be in an effort to let them out.
But in addition to losing the pups, Mrs. Crews said she loved her home, which was built six years ago. She said the couple lived and raised their children in an older home at the back of the property before they were able to build a new one.
“(We) lived in … his great grandparent’s house up to six years ago, and I finally got to build a new house,” she said. “We lived in that house with bad plumbing and bad waterlines.”
Family members said six generations of the Crews family had lived in that home, which was not damaged.
Mrs. Crews said the family would be fine. They were insured and have a place to stay until they get back on their feet.
Hale said the exact cause of the fire is under investigation and as of Tuesday afternoon, he said no foul play was suspected.