A two-alarm fire broke out around 8:45 Wednesday night at the Lincoln Green Apartments in Wynnefield Heights.
Cooking equipment caused the blaze, fire officials determined.
Heavy flames could be seen coming from the three-story apartment complex that is behind the Target shopping center on the 4000 block of Presidential Boulevard.
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The blaze burned quickly and was under control after about 45 minutes.
The fire started in one unit and quickly spread to several others, Philadelphia Fire officials said.
"It happened so fast -- it spread so fast," said resident Amber Rubel.
There were no reported injuries.
Presidential Boulevard was shutdown while firefighters battled to control the flames.
The fire was contained just after 9:30.
Dozens of people were forced to evacuate and some weren't allowed back in their homes. The landlord of Lincoln Green was putting up the 15 people who remain displaced. The Red Cross is helping with that process.
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