BALTIMORE (WJZ) — Several seniors and their families are out of their homes after a two-alarm fire damaged their east Baltimore apartment complex.

Crews were able to contain the fire within an hour or so, but the damage was already done. Now, dozens of senior have no idea when they’ll be able to go back home.

“You could see the fire on the roof and nothing but black smoke.”

The first calls for help from 1300 East Lanvale Street, came in just after 3:30 p.m. Sunday afternoon.

“The smoke was just coming. I was just afraid for the other people that were in the building,” says resident Valerie Brown.

The fire spread from the 8th floor of the Lanvale Towers onto the roof. Smoke filled the hallways of the senior apartment building, as residents ran out for safety.

“Because of the fire, it was heavy smoke and fire showing part of the building had to be evacuated. There were no injuries, no one hurt as a result,” says Baltimore City Fire Department Spokesperson Blair Adams.

People from across the city and neighboring counties could see the cloud of black smoke filling the sky. It took more than 60 firefighters just over an hour to put out the 2-alarm blaze.

Residents spent hours outside the building, unable to go back inside and unsure if they’d have anything to go back to.

“Really, nobody that’s out here knows if their apartment is damaged. So we’re just going to have to wait and see,” says Denise Hill, a relative to a Lanvale Towers resident.

Fire officials tell WJZ, out of the 200 people who live in the building, more than 170 are displaced.

According to our media partner The Baltimore Sun, the building’s management is working on short-term housing.

“She lives on the fourth floor. She said that her whole apartment is burned down. She has nowhere to go,” says a resident’s relative.

Right now, no one can go inside the building because of the smoke.

The cause of the fire is still under investigation.

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