Four separate fires that broke out early on Monday morning at businesses in Markham are now under control in what police say appears to them to be arson.

Starting at 3:45 a.m., residents near the area reported hearing explosions and seeing fireballs in the area of Langstaff Road East and Cedar Avenue.

The fires struck a paving company, a roofing company, a car carrier firm and a scrap yard.

Markham Fire Platoon Chief Kent Mortson said the fires were started in vehicles parked outside each of the businesses.

All flames were quickly put out, he said.

Police said a total of 11 vehicles were destroyed by fire at the four businesses.

Residents of several nearby homes were evacuated and placed on a York Regional Transit bus.

Paramedics were sent to the scene but said they did not treat anyone.