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Maryland closed as crews fight fire

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A three-storey home is still burning in the 600 block of Maryland Street, however, the occupants have escaped without injury.

Fire crews responded to the blaze about 10 a.m. today and are using an aerial truck to fight the stubborn blaze

It appears to have started on the top level , as smoke was pouring out of a front window when crews arrived.

"I was here visiting my brother when smoke started pouring out of the floor," said a woman who did not want to be identified. "Then we ran out."

Much of the roof of the home is now destroyed.

A stretch of Maryland between Sargent and Notre Dame avenues has been closed to traffic, police said.

 Neighbour Joe Nemcsok, who lives across the street, said the fire is a mixed blessing.

"It's too bad but a lot of people will be happy," he said, adding a lot of drug activity happened there.

"People who are trying to clean up the neighbourhood will be happy."

Bill Clark, deputy fire chief, said the fire started in the space between the second and third floors.

Fire crews were initially able to put out the fire, but were forced from the building when flames inside the walls flashed and spread.

"We've got it under control now but it will be a while before it's out," Clark said. Several residents got out, Clark said, adding here were no injuries.

The house is extensively damaged but he could offer no estimate on the value of the loss.

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Updated on Monday, January 14, 2013 at 1:13 PM CST: Fixes typos.

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