Suspicious fire at Calgary apartment building on 16 Avenue and Centre Street NW

WATCH: An investigation has begun into what Calgary police are calling a suspicious fire in the community of Balmoral. Michael King reports.

Calgary police are investigating a fire that left residents out of their homes overnight, and that officers say is considered suspicious.

Firefighters were called to an apartment building in the area of 16 Avenue and Centre Street N.W. at around 8 p.m. Wednesday.

“When fire crews arrived on scene, there were significant flames coming out of a window of a suite on the second floor,” Calgary Fire Department public information officer Carol Henke said.

She said firefighters started to attack the fire from outside before moving inside. Henke said damage was mainly contained to that second floor suite and no injuries were reported.

“It appears that one room in the suite actually flashed over — which means that everything in that room ignited. So there is significant fire damage to the suite of origin, with fire that travelled out into the hallway as well,” Henke said.

The 12-suite building was evacuated and Calgary transit buses arrived for the residents to shelter in. The fire department said only four of the building’s suites were occupied. In total, 20 people were evacuated, Henke said.

Residents were not allowed to return to their homes as officers held the scene overnight. The fire department said it helped people find a place to stay.

Calgary police said arson investigators would arrive Thursday morning, and as of noon no one had been let back inside.

“My understanding is that people are still not allowed into the building because the investigation is ongoing.”

Neither Calgary fire or police gave a reason for why the fire was being considered suspicious.

“CPS is lead on the investigation, and they have information that I’m not privy to,” Henke said.

“Our fire investigator and their arson investigators are currently working together to figure out the exact origin and cause of this fire, and whatever else is involved in that investigation.”

The cost of the damage is not yet known.

© 2021 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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