BARRIE -- No one was injured after a fire broke out at a townhouse complex in Sutton on Thursday evening.

Forty firefighters battled the flames that consumed multiple units around the dinner hour on North Street.

Officials say the residents were able to evacuate safely from their homes before fire crews arrived.

Georgina Fire and Rescue Services Chief Ron Jenkins says the fast-moving fire could have had a much different outcome.

"If this occurred just a few hours later when people were sleeping, there could have been a tragic outcome," he says.

Chief Jenkins credits working smoke alarms with saving lives.

"This serves as a reminder to everyone to make sure theirs is working," he adds.

The Ontario Fire Marshal's office is investigating the cause of the fire.