SAN ANTONIO -

A fire ignited and caused the roof to collapse at a home just southeast of downtown San Antonio early Thursday morning, officials said.

San Antonio fire crews responded to the blaze just before 5 a.m. at a home in the 1200 block of Florida Street.

Firefighters arrived to see heavy smoke and flames shooting through the roof and were forced to take a defensive approach. The roof collapsed a short time after crews arrived.

The homeowner, Venus Headley, said she was not at home when the fire broke out because it was too cold and she did not have a working heater. She had lived in the house for 13 years.

"I don't know what to think. Everything's gone. Everything I worked so hard for all these years is gone," Headley said. "I raised my kids and most of my grandkids. Eleven grandbabies."

She did get home in time to get her two dogs out of the front yard.

"All I could think of was I need to get Cookie away from the house," Headley said.

Fire crews battled the blaze for nearly two hours. Battalion Chief Connie Hall said when they first arrived, the dogs required extra attention.

"We did have to have a crew for the dogs to keep them because the fire was pretty intense. So they did not get burned. They were not injured. They were chained pit bulls (and they were) very angry," Hall said.

The arson unit was called to the scene to investigate. Firefighters said the size of the fire, the time it started, and no one being at home made the fire suspicious.

Fire crews said the home was so badly damaged that there was risk of collapse, so a bulldozer was expected to knock it down.