SAN ANTONIO -

A fire -- possibly started by a Molotov cocktail, investigators say -- has destroyed a near West Side family’s home and killed three of their puppies.

The fire broke out on the porch of the home, located on Gus Garcia near Colima Street, around 2 a.m. Tuesday, according to the San Antonio Fire Department.

A man, woman and their 1-year-old baby live in the home, and the couple told investigators it appeared someone had tried to break in shortly before they noticed the flames.

"The residents stated they were on the inside. They heard something outside,” said San Antonio fire Battalion Chief Mark Black. “They heard a popping sound, saw some activity."

Arson investigators at the scene would not elaborate on any information they had received about possible suspects in the case.

The couple who lives in the home did not want to appear on camera.

However, they said after they noticed the flames, the woman and baby used a back door to escape.

They said a stranger who was standing on the sidewalk nearby help then climbed over a fence, then disappeared.

The husband, meanwhile, went back into the burning home and made several attempts to rescue more than a dozen dogs and puppies.

In the end, three of the puppies died.

The couple said they were in the process of training the animals to become service dogs.

Although the couple lived in the home, it is owned by the San Antonio Housing Authority.

Once firefighters had left the scene, several employees with SAHA showed up and roped off the area.

Others dressed in shirts and ties appeared to be conducting an investigation of their own, walking around the property and writing notes on a clipboard.

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