COOK - Firefighters from three departments responded to a house fire Monday night that claimed the lives of several pets and ruined the home owner’s birthday.

Alice Ellis, who has owned the 128-year-old house in Cook since 2013, was celebrating her birthday in Lincoln when she received a call that her house was on fire.

Cook Fire Chief Adam Badberg said the fire department was called at 7:45 p.m. and he immediately called for mutual aid from Tecumseh and Burr because the glow of the fire could be seen throughout the town. He said a neighbor alerted arriving firefighters that the home owner was not at home.

The flames were suppressed for the most part in 30 minutes, but fire crews were on the scene for  five hours.

Ellis reported on Facebook Tuesday that three cats and a nine-month-old Great Dane puppy were lost. Firefighters found one cat outside.

Badberg said a State Fire Marshal investigator could not determine the cause of the fire, but pinpointed the start of the fire to a deck on the south side of the house.

Cook Rescue responded, along with 17 firefighters from Cook, seven from Burr and 12 from Tecumseh.

Badberg said the fire spread quickly once it reached the attic of the house. The south wall was open by the time firefighters arrived.

Photo: fire started on the south deck