The fire was reported at about 7:40 p.m. in an apartment complex at 841 University Ave. and brought under control just after 9 p.m., according to the dispatcher, who said crews remained in the area at 9:30 p.m.
Troy Barbee Jr., who lives in an apartment building at 826 University Ave., across the street from the fire, said it appeared fire crews had the upper hand on the blaze when he returned home at about 8:45 p.m.
The 800 block of University Avenue was still shut down to traffic when he arrived, Barbee said, so he parked a couple blocks away. He said it appeared the fire had been controlled but there was still thick smoke in the area.
Barbee said the blaze appeared to cause serious damage to the roof of the apartment building.
"It's obvious that it burned through the roof because they're spraying down on it," Barbee said, referring to firefighters who accessed the flames using ladders.