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Residents displaced by 4-alarm fire in Inglewood

Click to play video: 'Fire crews unsure when Inglewood condo residents will be able to return home' Fire crews unsure when Inglewood condo residents will be able to return home
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A large fire at a residential building in Inglewood prompted a four-alarm response from Calgary fire crews Wednesday.

Around 1:35 a.m., firefighters responded to reports of a blaze at a residential building in the 1400 block of 17 Street S.E. north of Blackfoot Trail S.E., Calgary fire chief Steve Dongworth said.

“We had the first crew on scene in six minutes. Very large volume of fire,” Dongworth said. “The crew on scene called the second alarm immediately and after that, it escalated to a third and fourth alarm, which is a lot of resources.”

The 64-unit building was quickly evacuated, along with an adjacent building. In total, about 128 units were evacuated, he said.

“Very severe damage to the roof of this building; in the top floor of this building, water damage throughout as well,” he said.

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It was an intense fire, with flames shooting through the roof.

“Very threatening to the adjoining building and there [are] actually two buildings that are adjacent and crews did a fantastic job of knocking down the fire at the first building and preventing it from spreading,” Dongworth said.

WATCH: Calgary Fire Chief Steve Dongworth joins Global News to discuss the importance of extinguishing smoking materials to avoid serious fires.

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READ MORE: Homeowner facing charges as crews fight multi-home fire in northeast Calgary

A residential building in Inglewood was severely damaged in a four-alarm fire Wednesday. Doug Vaessen/Global News

Firefighters got the blaze under control at around 3:30 a.m., a Calgary fire news release said Wednesday.

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There are no reports of injuries, Dongworth said.

While the cause of the fire is still under investigation, one witness said when he left the building he saw the exterior of the building on fire.

“I could see the orange haze … so I said to my wife, ‘We got to get out of here, this is on fire,’” said Pat Tetley. “So we came downstairs and looked out and on the balcony on the top floor, the fourth floor, I could see a fire burning on the balcony.”

Tetley said it didn’t look that bad at first.

“It wasn’t bad but it was covering pretty much the whole balcony and then a few minutes later the fire department arrived,” Tetley said.  “And then it just burst from there.”

With the dry conditions lately, Calgary fire is reminding residents to be careful.

“A lot of these are related potentially to careless disposal of smoking materials. I’m not saying that’s the cause of all of them but certainly, we’re seeing that as a theme here,” Dongworth said.

Dongworth added that smokers should always dispose of their used cigarettes in a non-combustible container and to make sure they’re out.

A reception centre has been set up at the Max Bell Centre, which is located at 1001 Barlow Tr. S.E.

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Residents will be allowed escorted access to the parkade and to their suites after signing in at the reception centre. Residents are asked to be patient as access to the parkade to retrieve vehicles will only be granted one person at a time.

Residents will only be allowed inside their suites for five minutes to grab essentials.

About 200 residents have been displaced with six suites being damaged by the fire and a number of other units sustaining smoke and water damage, the news release said.

The Red Cross is at the Max Bell Centre to provide support to the displaced residents.

“Several pets are with their owners at the reception centre and are being assisted with pet supplies by Calgary Community Standards,” Calgary fire said.

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Utilities have been shut off to the two buildings and the city’s Safety Response Unit is inspecting the building for structural issues, Calgary fire said.

The cause of the blaze is under investigation.

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