Two blocks of townhouses under construction in Barrhaven caught fire early Monday morning, and the Ottawa police arson unit is investigating.
The flames broke out at Mancini Way and Garity Crescent, near Longfields and Chapman Mills drives, just before 3 a.m. Monday.
The fire affected 16 units in the two blocks of townhouses, according to Ottawa fire officials. Damage is estimated at more than $1 million.
Several people were already living there despite the buildings being unfinished, but firefighters managed to get everyone out safely, according to Ottawa fire department spokesperson Danielle Cardinal.
Heavy machinery will be brought in Monday to knock down the badly damaged sections of the buildings.
The intensity of the fire — which reached a third alarm — forced crews to take a defensive position outside the buildings as they fought the blaze.
Some of the siding on nearby buildings was damaged by the heat.
No injuries have been reported.