A total of eight homes were destroyed when a fire gutted a Brampton townhouse complex on Saturday night.

The fire broke out at an address on Darras Court near Bramalea Road and Balmoral Drive at around 10 p.m. and quickly spread.

By the time firefighters arrived from a station across the street just minutes later, the blaze had reached several adjoining homes and heavy smoke and flames were visible.

The fire then continued to spread through the roof of the building, burning for at least a few hours until it was deemed under control, Platoon Chief Edward Davis told reporters on Sunday.

“We have lost eight units but the very good news is that there were no civilian injuries and no firefighter injuries,” he said.

A fire investigator with the Office of the Fire Marshal said Sunday night that the fire started in the garage of one of the units. The fire is not considered to be suspicious at this time, he added.

Some residents lacked insurance

Davis said that a total of 12 adults and two teenagers were displaced by the fire.

Those people, Davis said, probably won’t be able to return to their homes for quite some time, if at all.

In the interim, the City of Brampton Emergency Management office is working with the Red Cross and several other agencies to provide some of the displaced residents with food and temporary accommodations.

The city also plans to make an appeal for cash donations to help the displaced residents rebuild their lives in the wake of the fire.

“We know that at least a few of the residents did not have insurance. A lot of these people were renting and they think that the owner has insurance and that’s sufficient but some did not have content insurance and lost everything they had inside the house,” Emergency Manager Alain Normand told reporters on Sunday.

One of the affected residents told CP24's Jee-Yun Lee that she and her parents have somewhere to stay tonight but that they are not sure where they will go in the days to come.

Chaotic scene

Video of the fire that was submitted to CP24 by a viewer showed flames shooting from a parked vehicle and scaling the front of one of the units before emergency crews arrived. The car, fire investigators say, was initially inside the garage where the fire started.

Speaking with CP24 on Sunday one resident, who helped alert neighbours to the fire, described a chaotic scene.

“There was a lot of panic and shock. They (residents) weren’t even understanding what was happening,” he said. “One gentleman didn’t even want to leave his house. He was holding on to the bannister and one guy had to actually drag him out.”

According to Davis, the estimated damage from the blaze could top $2 million based on an approximate loss of $300,000-$400,000 per home.

The cause of the fire is currently being investigated by the Ontario Fire Marshal.

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