By Alex DeMetrick

ELKRIDGE, Md. (WJZ) — Five families have been displaced after a two-alarm fire engulfed four townhomes in Howard County overnight.

 Alex DeMetrick reports the Red Cross  and Howard County Department of Fire & Rescue Services are assisting those families.

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Three patients were evaluated for smoke inhalation.  All three received oxygen therapy and then refused transport to an area hospital.   Howard County fire officials say the fire broke out on a deck just after 12:30 a.m. in the 6900 block of Ducketts Lane in Elkridge.

When units arrived on scene, they found heavy fire on the back side of a middle townhouse.

Although the fire remains under investigation, first arriving firefighters believe the fire may have originated either on the back deck or from the kitchen of the main fire structure.  The fire then climbed the back of the main structure and extended through the attic and roof to four adjacent townhouses.

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The four townhouses suffered extensive damage and are expected to be declared uninhabitable.

It has not been determined whether an additional townhouse involved in the blaze will receive a similar posting.

In total, approximately 60 firefighters from Howard, Anne Arundel and Baltimore counties were on the scene.

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There have been no fire department injuries.