About 150 residents have been displaced following an apartment fire in northeast Edmonton.

Fire crews were called out to the blaze around 2:30 a.m. Sunday at the Huntington Place apartments on 54 Street and 144 B Avenue.

“When the first crews arrived they found smoke and fire on the fourth floor,” district fire chief John Bower explained.

He said that a second alarm was called shortly after the first crews arrived and the building was evacuated.

“It looks like it was contained to one suite on the fourth floor,” Bower said.

“The fire was at the suite that was right by the fire stop so that was one of the things that helped us.”

Bower added that crews determined the inside of the building was too hot so they attacked the blaze from the outside.

“They kind of backed off and they got a monitor in there and shot water in there and that cooled off the environment.”

Colin Kucher said he lived across the hall from the suite where the fire originated.

He called the experience surreal and frightening, describing his escape from the building after phoning the fire department.

“I went out to the hallway. I couldn’t see anything it was all black smoke. I ran my way to the door, couldn’t find the doorknob, found it and got out of there as quick as I could.”

Kucher was among the residents allowed back in to their units to grab some belongings Sunday. He said the inside of the building was a disaster.

“You have to watch where you are walking because it is nails and boards and stuff everywhere. It’s sad.

“I have water in my kitchen. When you walk into the door there is black smoke on the right, little bit of smoke damage but the walls seem to be okay.”

According to fire investigators the damage estimate was around $1 million.

“There is fire damage throughout the top floor and water damage to bottom floors,” Captain investigator Murray Steedsman explained.

The Red Cross has now been called in to assist residents in need.

“There are limited resources for a lot of people and we provide that, fill that gap on an emergency basis until they can get their feet back on the ground,” Ernie Eves said.

“We provide things like food, clothing, emergency shelter and other items that we may need.”

According to Eves, they have been able to help residents in 35 of the 46 units.

“I think it is hard for most of us to understand what it would be like to be affected by a fire.”

The fire was deemed under control shortly after 4 a.m. 

There were no injuries reported.

With files from Sarah Richter