By Mugo Odigwe

CHICAGO (CBS)– Firefighters battled a fire that spread to seven houses in Fuller Park Thursday morning.

Flames and smoke were shooting out from the top of four houses and two couch houses around 4 a.m. in the 4900 block of South Princeton Avenue.

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According to the Chicago Fire Department, the fire possibly started on the back porch of a vacant building. The back of the buildings have collapsed along with the two coach houses.

One woman displaced by the fire said she had to make a quick run for it.

“It was terrifying – we had to hurry up and get our things – our most important valuable things to us,” said Delores Gamez, “We had to run out – got our animals out. Luckily everyone’s okay.”

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A CFD official said the recent dry weather conditions made fighting the flames especially difficult.

“We’ve had no rain – everything’s dry, and once the exposure gets going, then when we get water under it, it’s kind of hard to control,” said Dept. Dist. Chief Tom Carbonneau. “Once we get water on the exposure, we work our way from the outside in – we get it going.”

American Red Cross teams were providing assistance to the people who have been displaced.

Eight people, four adult dogs, and four puppies were displaced by the fire. One injured puppy was taken to the hospital by Chicago Animal Care and Control, according to the Fire Department.

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The cause of the fire is under investigation as suspicious. Fire Department officials said a Buildings Department demolition team will be tearing down two of the damaged buildings.