Emergency crews were called to a fire at a townhouse complex in the city's southwest on Thursday morning and officials say the blaze may have started on the deck of an end unit.

Crews responded to a fire on Killarney Glen Court S.W. at about 6:20 a.m. and say the structure was fully engulfed in flame when they arrived.

“When fire crews arrived there was an immense amount of smoke and flame coming. They did get a good knockdown however, fire did damage to two of the suites and smoke damage to two neighbouring suites, “said Carol Henke, Calgary Fire Department. “The fire started at the end unit but right now our fire investigator in on scene.”

Officials say the fire extended from the deck to the second floor of the unit and several people were evacuated from suites in the complex.

“We know that five people in the four townhomes did evacuate safely including one dog. We did evacuate some other people in the surrounding buildings so a total of 12 people were evacuated, five from the townhomes that were affected by the fire. They will be displaced for some time. The other evacuees have been let back in once air quality was tested inside their residences,” said Henke.

Firefighters were able to contain the fire but a unit next door sustained damage to the siding and two other suites have smoke damage.

“Wind is always a factor because it can really drive the fire very quickly to spread to neighbouring structures,” said Henke. “The fire did spread into the attic space as well so firefighters had to fight the fire not only from the ground floor but through the ceiling and roof as well.”

Julia Laarhuis lives across the street and says she woke up to the sound of crackling flames.

“All of a sudden, we started getting dressed really quick and there was a loud, like, explosion, boom, and assuming something obviously exploded and then from there we kind of just scurried on out, came out, lots of smoke, lots of people, glad to see everyone is safe,” she said.

Fire officials say no injuries have been reported.

The cause of the fire is under investigation but it is believed to have started on the outside deck of an end unit.