Firefighters from Red Deer and Sylvan Lake responded to a blaze in a transitional housing complex on Little Gaetz Avenue on Monday.
No injuries were reported.
The fire displaced an estimated 20 residents, who were shuttled to a temporary reception facility at G.H. Dawe Community Centre and put up at a hotel overnight.
Due to fire and water damage, the building is considered destroyed and will be torn down. Investigators remained on scene overnight.
As great plumes of black smoke billowed above downtown Red Deer, fire crews used hoses mounted on a truck ladder to douse the flames from above, while another crew was spraying the blaze from the back lane.
The fire at 5129 50th Ave. started at about 4 p.m. and drew a small crowd of onlookers who were kept about a block away from the cordoned-off site.
“It’s under investigation,” Red Deer RCMP Cpl. Dwayne Hanusich said of the cause of the fire.