Two families, including a dozen children, were forced out of their homes Monday night, the coldest of the year so far, by a fire in Saint John's north end.
The fire damaged two of the eight units at a townhouse complex on MacLaren Boulevard, said Saint John Fire Department Chief Brian Wilson.
The two families were displaced on a night when the windchill felt like -20 C.
But the fire did not take long to put out. Wilson said fire crews were at the scene for two hours.
"It was a quick knockdown," he said.
Wilson said the fire began in the living room area, and firefighters were able to contain it quickly. The upper and lower units of the complex had more interior than exterior damage, he said.
"It's largely smoke damage," he said. "It was moderate."
Wilson said he couldn't speak to whether the families will be able to go back anytime soon.
In a news release, the Canadian Red Cross said it's providing emergency lodging to the families and will help them purchase clothing and basic necessities.
Wilson said no injuries were reported.