More than a dozen people are looking for a place to live after an apartment building was destroyed by fire in Saint John.

The fire started at the building on Duke Street early Tuesday morning.

The fire department says everyone got out of the building before crews arrived on scene and no one was injured.

“When the crews arrived on scene, everyone was out of the building,” said Saint John Fire Platoon Chief Eric Garland. “People had already gotten out of the building. They self-evacuated.”

The fire department says the brick building is so badly damaged it will likely have to be demolished, but firefighters were able to save neighbouring buildings.

“It could have been a lot worse. I was more worried about smoke damage, but it doesn’t seem too, too bad,” said Sarah Jones, who owns an art gallery next door. “You can certainly smell it, but it’s not as dire as I thought it was going to be.”

About 15 people have been displaced. The Red Cross is assisting them.

The cause of the fire remains under investigation.