Police and fire officials are investigating what they've called a suspicious early morning fire at a home in Hamilton.

The fire started at the back of the house at 78 Wentworth Street South, on the fire escape. Extra crews were needed to help put out the blaze.

The family were alerted to the fire by their dog barking.

Police officers in the area on another matter responded immediately to reports of the fire, preventing a family member from going back inside to rescue a pet. 

The family — two parents and their adult son — had already evacuated when firefighters arrived. No injuries were reported.

Fire Safety Officer Dave Christopher said two cats did not make it out of the house, but the family dog managed to escape on his own.

Firefighters were on scene Friday afternoon awaiting the arrival of the Fire Marshal. A building inspector will determine the building’s stability.

The cause of the fire is still undetermined and an estimate of damages was still being calculated Friday.