Six families were displaced from a Columbia apartment complex early Saturday afternoon by fire, a county official said.

Just before 12:30 p.m., fire crews responded to reports of an apartment fire in the 12000 block of Little Patuxent Parkway, said Jackie Cutler, a spokeswoman for the Howard County Fire Department.

A first floor residence was filled with smoke when firefighters arrived, she said. The smoke was spreading to surrounding apartments and crews rescued two women who lived above the smoldering unit, Cutler said.

One of the woman was evaluated for smoke inhalation but she refused treatment. No one else was injured in the fire.

More than 20 fire and rescue units were on the scene of the blaze, the cause of which Cutler said was still being determined Saturday evening. It took 30 minutes to get the fire under control.

The American Red Cross had representatives on the scene to help the displaced residents find shelter.

There were a total of 16 apartment units in the building, Cutler said.

steve.kilar@baltsun.com

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