CHARLESTON — A fire at Nunan Street and Ashley Avenue in downtown Charleston has burned at least three homes, several vehicles and prompted the evacuation of dozens of area apartment residents.

The blaze started around 10 a.m. Flames spread from one house to the houses on each side and vehicles parked on the streets.

Residents who evacuated from a neighboring three-story apartment complex gathered at a nearby intersection.

The home that ignited was abandoned. But the homes on either side were occupied.

There are no reports of injuries, however.

Streets and intersections around the scene remained blocked just before 4 p.m, including Rutledge Avenue from Fishburne Street to the Crosstown, Nunan Street, Kennedy Street, and Ashley Avenue from from Kennedy Street to Nunan Street.

The fire is under control but still smoldering.

Mark Ruppel, spokesman for the Charleston Fire Department, said it's too early to say what caused the fire but that it does not fit the pattern of the serial arsonist.

The middle house at 13 Nunan St. was fully involved when firefighters arrived and Ruppel praised them for stopping the flames from spreading beyond the two neighboring homes at 11 and 15 Nunan, which were severely damaged.

"That fire was burning for some time before we got here," he said. "That's surprising for this time of day."

Check back with postandcourier.com for more details as they become available.