A fire destroyed two Munjoy Hill townhouse units Saturday. Photo by Bonnie Washuk/Staff Writer

A fire that destroyed part of a Portland townhouse complex on Saturday was under investigation Sunday, and one resident remained hospitalized in critical condition.

Five people were injured – one critically – in a predawn blaze that gutted two townhouse apartments early Saturday morning at 117-119 North St. in Portland’s Munjoy Hill neighborhood.

Deputy Fire Chief Chad Johnston said that when he arrived he was stunned to see how far the fire had advanced.

“Those people literally had seconds to get out,” he said. “I’m sure that fire chased them out the front.”

Firewalls between every two units prevented the fire from spreading, Johnston said.

When firefighters arrived from the nearby Munjoy Hill Station, they found heavy fire in the rear of the building. The commanding officer swiftly struck a second alarm, but the fire was so intense that a third alarm was sounded, emptying all of Portland’s fire stations to send available firefighters to the scene.

“We had the entire city of Portland’s fire department there within six minutes,” Johnston said.

Michael Craig of the Portland Red Cross said Sunday his agency is assisting residents of the townhouse complex, and that all 10 displaced residents have found places to stay.

Authorities have not identified the victim in critical condition.

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