Multiple fire departments began their battle with a stubborn blaze in a five-unit structure on Alma Street around 3 a.m. on Tuesday, July 23.
Nearby resident Kevin Selig says the smell of smoke woke him up then the bright flames coming out of a window a few buildings away from his home.
"I came downstairs and looked out the window and the flames lit the whole sky up. The smoke was really thick."
People from the apartment building on fire began gathering on the sidewalk. It started to rain so Selig invited them into his home. There were three families, including children, and a woman who lived in the unit where the fire started.
"She was pretty shaken up. She had a burn on her foot and smoke inhalation," he said. "She was coughing a lot and upset about her cats."
Later at the scene, at around 7:30 a.m., Yarmouth Fire Department Platoon Chief Peter Winship spoke about the fire. He said the Yarmouth, Wedgeport, Lake Vaughn, Eel Brook and Port Maitland fire departments were all on scene during the blaze.
“When we arrived we had heavy fire on the front of the building. Right now we have it under control, but they are still going through in case of any hotspots,” he said.
A hole was also made in the roof of the structure to be able to access the interior.
“It’s an older structure and the way it’s configured inside it’s got some parts that are hard to get at,” said Winship.
“Everyone got out safely and the Red Cross was able to accommodate them,” he added.
Winship said Tueday morning it hadn't yet been determined what had caused the fire.
Winship said firefighters were able to get the fire under control and prevent it from spreading to nearby properties. Residents of neighbouring properties on the block had still been evacuated.
“It’s under control at this point so we’re allowing some of the residents back into their houses,” he said.
Power had also been cut to the area but was restored in the morning.
In a media release, the Canadian Red Cross said 10 people had been displaced by the overnight fire in Yarmouth, that extensively damaged the older two-storey building containing five apartments.
A woman who lived in the apartment where the fire began was treated by paramedics at the scene for minor burns and smoke inhalation and was helped by Canadian Red Cross volunteers with emergency lodging, meals and clothing purchases. Similar help was later offered to four tenants from two other apartments.
The other five tenants from two apartments made their own arrangements to stay with relatives or friends for now.