LONDON, ONT. -- A suspicious fire at a London apartment/hotel Saturday morning forced residents outside as smoke filled the building.

One person was taken to hospital, with suspected minor injuries.

Resident Tammi Anderson said the scene was frantic as it unfolded. “Somebody came banging on the door, yelling, ‘Fire, fire, fire!’”

The call to the London Fire Department came in at 8:40 a.m. The first units at the London Residency Inn at 2010 Dundas St. E. arrived within 2 minutes.

In video and photos, shared with CTV News, heavy smoke was pouring from a second floor window as one of the first firefighters to arrive worked to get a ladder in place.

In total, two dozen firefighters in seven vehicles, including an aerial unit, attended.

Fire platoon chief Gary Mosburger says crews moved quickly to ensure everyone was out of the building while, at the same time, attempting to contain the blaze. “Obviously, we have full fire damage to the one unit itself as well as the unit directly below, due to water damage, which is typical from our suppression needs containing the fire.”

Meanwhile, Anderson says she’s frustrated and fearful given recent fires at the property. “You could sort of smell the smoke but I just thought this is ridiculous. It’s the second one in eight months.”

Mosburger acknowledges the recent fires, however, he say the situation at the building is improving.

“It appears that there has been a substantial increase in fire protection and awareness to it.”

To his point, he says the blaze was properly handled by the Residency Inn staff.

“They very quickly were alerted to the cause of the fire. They pulled the alarm as they should have, and got the people out of the building as fast as they could. They did a really good job of getting the people out in a timely manner.”

If they hadn’t, Mosburger concedes the situation could have quickly escalated into a major blaze.

He says the London Fire Department’s fire investigation officers will soon comb the scene along with the London Police Arson Unit. The Ontario Fire Marshal’s Office has also been contracted, but has not yet been dispatched.

All residents, save for those in two units, have now been allowed back into the building.