Officials say a barbecue was the cause of a fire that tore through a Grande Prairie condominium and forced residents out of their homes on Friday.

Emergency crews were called to the fire at the three-story Haywood Court Condominium at 7201 Poplar Dr. in Grande Prairie at 5:30 p.m. Friday.

Officials say a barbecue on the upper third floor balcony of the condo/apartment building was the cause of the fire that directly affected six suites in the building.

Smoke damage on the third floor also caused damage to another six suites.

Water damage is also present in other suites on the first and second floors.

A total of 27 firefighters worked to contain the blaze.

While a damage estimate has not been determined, and the fire was contained to the upper floor, Grande Prairie Fire Department Platoon Chief Tim Meyer says water damage may prove to be extensive throughout the rest of the building.

"It's severely damaged," Meyer tells CTV News.

Meyer said Sunday the building has been turned back over to property management company representatives who are dealing with their insurance company and determining tenant access.

"The management company was making arrangements to allow people to get back in and get personal property but they're not going to be living in there, the building is damaged too far for that," Meyer said.

Grande Prairie is located about 460 kilometres north west of Edmonton.