The fire was reported at about 7:40 p.m. at the Monterey Club Apartments at 1411 Monument Blvd., a Contra Costa County Fire Protection District dispatcher said.
The blaze damaged four apartments before it was controlled at 8:18 p.m., the dispatcher said.
A total of 17 people -- 15 adults and two children -- were displaced, said Melanie Finke, spokeswoman for the Bay Area chapter of the American Red Cross.
The displaced residents were put up in a nearby hotel Tuesday night where they were provided with food and personal hygiene materials, Finke said.
Many of the displaced residents speak primarily Spanish, so Spanish-speaking volunteers were working with them today to determine what will happen next.
The residents are waiting to hear from fire officials on whether they can return home or whether they will need to seek alternative long-term housing, she said.
The blaze caused about $250,000 in damage to the apartments. The cause of the fire is under investigation, the dispatcher said.