A sprinkler system saved the day when a blaze broke out in a Rutledge Avenue apartment building Wednesday.

Smoke in an apartment at 515 Rutledge Ave. set off an alarm about 5:50 p.m., Charleston Fire Marshal Mike Julazadeh said. Units from Charleston and North Charleston responded.

The building had a sprinkler system, and two sprinkler heads kept the fire down until firefighters arrived, he said. Crews were on the scene in less than three minutes and extinguished a small fire in less than four minutes.

Firefighters had to use less than five gallons of water thanks to the sprinkler system. Water damage was limited as firefighters quickly deactivated the sprinkler system.

Residents of the one apartment are likely to be displaced while repairs are made, but residents of the other seven apartments returned to their apartments.

“Residential fire sprinklers save lives and reduce property loss,” Julazadeh said.