Colorado Springs firefighters extinguished a fire at a townhouse complex in the 3200 block of Bridgewater Drive on Friday afternoon.
The townhouses are near the intersection of Hancock Expressway and Milton E. Proby Parkway on the city's southeast side.
Firefighters say a crew was returning from an inspection when crewmembers noticed the fire, began control efforts and called for additional units sooner than they otherwise would have. The quick action may have prevented the fire from spreading.
Crews temporarily evacuated adjacent townhouses. Authorities said the fire gutted a vacant home and one occupied by two families with children. A family in a third adjacent home also was displaced because of smoke damage.
No one was injured, and three dogs escaped safely.
The fire was reported around 3:40 p.m. and was under control within 30 minutes.
The Red Cross is helping the displaced families find shelter.