A family of five is homeless after an early morning fire in the Trail Creek Road area, east of Bozeman.

The family was asleep inside the home when fire broke out early this morning, Fort Ellis Fire Department Chief Mike Cech said. A smoke alarm woke up one of the members of the family who then alerted the others. All were able to make it out safely, but a family dog, a chocolate Lab, perished in the blaze, Cech said.

“They got out with clothes on their backs. They lost everything inside,” he said.

The fire appeared to have started in the garage. While it is difficult to determine exactly what started the blaze because of the extensive damage, it appears to have involved a space heater and recently stained bench, Cech said.

Fire crews from the Fort Ellis Fire Department were paged to the working structure fire at 5:22 this morning. The home was fully involved in fire when firefighters arrived.

Firefighters had a tough time reaching the home due to its location and road conditions.

“We did our absolute best,” Cech said.

The home was declared a total loss.

Fort Ellis was assisted by fire departments from Sourdough/Rae, Central Valley and Bozeman as well as AMR and the Gallatin County Sheriff’s Department.

The Red Cross is helping the family.