NEW HAMBURG -- A New Hamburg family has been displaced after the clothes dryer caught fire, causing smoke damage to the entire house.

Louise Hardman has lived in the home for the last six years. She said she was sleeping when she smelled burning coming from the laundry room.

“I know I saw a flame in the dryer, I know there was smoke but to tell you details, it really went quicker than you’d think,” she said. “I had no idea that my house was going to be engulfed in smoke.”

Hardman said the smoke detector went off and she quickly gathered her six other family members and evacuated the home.

Wilmot fire crews responded to the fire around midnight on Friday. Crews said the fire was contained to the laundry room caused by a dryer fire.

“The only advice I can give at this stage of the game is to make sure that your lint filter is cleaned each and every time you use your clothes dryer,” said Wilmot fire chief Rod Leeson. “And ensure that the vent leading from your dryer to the exterior of the property is cleaned.”

Smoke and water caused damage to the entire house. Fire crews say the damage estimate is unknown at this time.

Hardman says most of their belongings have been destroyed by smoke and three of their pet bunnies died.

“Looking at what we have as far as us, I don’t care about the material things. But in order to move forward and live, we need to start over,” Hardman told CTV News on Monday.

A GoFundMe has started to help the family get back on their feet. Hardman says the support from the community has been overwhelming.

“We’ve had bags of clothes dropped off at my daughters house for us ... the outreach we’ve had has been amazing.”

Hardman said they are currently staying with their daughter until they find a new place to live.

She is now urging people not to turn their dryers on at night.

“Never once, after how many times putting the dryer on at night, did you ever think you’d wake up to [a fire]," she said.