MARTINEZ (CBS SF) — A firefighter was injured early Sunday battling a two-alarm fire that roared through a Martinez townhouse complex, heavily damaging four homes, authorities said.

Contra Costa County Fire Capt. Lisa Martinez said when crews arrived at around 4:15 a.m. flames and thick smoke was streaming out of the complex.

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“Arriving units saw heavy smoke coming out of a 2-story, 8-unit townhouse complex,” she said. “They quickly called in a second alarm.”

The fire — at 455 Eastgate Lane — was finally tamed but not before it had forced the residents of the 8 units from the structure. They were able to escape the fire safely, Martinez said.

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However, a firefighter injured his knee when he tumbled down a stairway. He was taken to the hospital for treatment.

Authorities said the fire was sparked by a pot left simmering on a stove and spread via an attic space into at least 2 other townhouses. All eight units suffered smoke or water damage and power, water and gas were shut off.

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The Red Cross was assisting the residents displaced by the fire.