PORTLAND — A fire in a three-story apartment building near Woodfords Corner was under control but still burning late Sunday night as firefighters battled the blaze in a densely populated neighborhood between Ocean and Forest avenues.

No injuries were reported.

Flames could be seen on the roof at 84 Irving St. at 11 p.m., more than an hour after the fire was first reported.

Two Portland Fire Department ladder trucks, with hoses attached to their ladder tips, hovered over the burning roof, spraying streams of water into holes in the roof. But once one hot spot had been extinguished, another one would flare up.

Irving Street is located off Ocean Avenue near the Rite-Aid Pharmacy at the corner of Ocean and Forest avenues. The street is narrow and was lined Sunday night with cars parked on both sides.

Most of the side streets leading into the neighborhood had been blocked by police.

“There are a lot of concealed spaces and corners inside the building, which is why the fire keeps flaring up. It is hard for us to pinpoint where the fire is,” Portland Fire Chief Jerome LaMoria told reporters.

LaMoria said six people lived in the apartment house and all escaped without injury. The building is situated in a very dense neighborhood with homes situated just a few feet from one another. Dozens of residents stood on snow-covered lawns and porches and watched as the fire burned late Sunday.

LaMoria said the building, erected in 1884, may once have been used as a single-family residence, but at some point was converted into six apartments. It’s assessed value is $241,800, including land.

The fire was reported around 9:20 p.m. When firefighters arrived, they attempted to enter the structure but were driven back by intense heat and smoke, LaMoria said.

As the fire spread from the first floor to the upper floors of the three-story building, Portland called for reinforcements. By late Sunday night, 11 city fire companies and more than 40 firefighters were battling the three-alarm fire, which had spread into an attached porch and attached two-story house.

The fire was largely under control at 11:45 p.m.

The cause of the fire remains under investigation.

LaMoria said the American Red Cross was notified and will attempt to find temporary housing for the residents.

Dennis Hoey can be contacted at 791-6365 or at:

[email protected]