Ellicott City fire

Firefighters battle an early morning fire in Ellicott City. (Photo provided by Howard County Department of Fire & Rescue Services / November 25, 2013)

About twenty people were displaced after a fire badly damaged an apartment building in Ellicott City in the early hours of Monday morning, Howard County fire officials said.

Fire crews arrived at the building in the 6200 block of Waterloo Road shortly after midnight and found heavy smoking coming from the attic, the fire department said. It took about 40 firefighters and paramedics an hour to tackle the blaze, authorities said, but no one was injured.

Five of the six apartments in the building were occupied at the time of the fire and the American Red Cross is helping the displaced residents, the fire department said.