A three-alarm fire swept through an Uptown apartment building early Wednesday morning, displacing seven people and damaging a neighboring structure, the New Orleans Fire Department said.

The NOFD received a call about a fire at 823 Cadiz St. at 3:14 a.m.

Firefighters arrived eight minutes later to find a two-story, four-unit apartment building engulfed, with flames spreading to a sheet metal business next door that had two apartments above it, said Operator Gregory Davis, a department spokesman. They immediately struck a second alarm.

A third alarm was rung at 3:44 a.m. due to heat and the size of the building, Davis said. Sixty-one firefighters had the fire under control at 4:15 a.m.

Five families, totaling seven people, were displaced.

The American Red Cross was on the scene to assist them with finding temporary housing.

While Fire Superintendent Tim McConnell praised firefighters for containing the flames to two buildings, he said delayed detection — apparently caused by a lack of smoke detectors — was responsible for most of the damage.

One resident told firefighters he woke up and noticed the fire through his window, Davis said. At that point it was so hot he had trouble getting past it.

No one was injured, and the cause of the fire remains under investigation.

The NOFD will supply and install smoke detectors for Orleans Parish residents who request them from their local fire station, by visiting www.nola.gov/nofd or calling (504) 658-4714.