Ottawa fire officials say at least 11 people are without their homes, including a family with four children, after a million-dollar fire in Barrhaven Thursday night.

Ottawa Fire say the blaze broke out around 4:45 p.m. at a row home on Claridge Dr.

A renter at one of units, Mike Melki, says the blaze started in his backyard just before 5p.m.

His 16-year-old daughter says she noticed something strange coming from the back window.

“I was just looking outside and I saw orange, and then I thought my eyes were playing trickS on me, but then I saw shadows, and I thought eyes don’t make shadows,” said Callia Melki.

She shouted for her family to get outside, and called 911.

“Thanks to Callia’s quick thinking, her siblings are alive,” said her mom, Nancy Melki.

It took crews three hours to get it under control. During that time, it spread to the attic, three other units in the row of homes, and two adjacent homes.

No one was hurt and the exact cause is being investigated.

The Melki family did not have home insurance at the time. Mike said they lost it a few weeks before the blaze.

“Last year was a tough year for our family – my wife was going through school,” he said. After missing a few payments the insurance was revoked. 

Another family member has started a GoFundMe page to raise money so the Melki’s can start over.

By Friday night, it had reached half of the $25-thousand dollar goal. You can visit the page here