PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — 24 people were rescued as crews battled a 4-alarm blaze at a Southeast Portland care home that left a number of residents displaced early Wednesday morning, officials said.

Around 1:08 a.m. Portland Fire & Rescue responded to a large fire at Hope N Care on SE Pardee Street. Fire officials said by the time crews arrived the care facility was engulfed with flames coming from the roof.

As firefighters fought the flames, fire officials said additional crews were called to help clear the building. Once inside, crews said they found a couple of employees trying to get residents out. PF&R said 16 people were evacuated from the facility’s front building.

Firefighters continued searching the back of the building when they found more residents in an attached two-story building. Crews were able to get those eight people to safety.

Fire officials said all the residents and employees made it out, and an employee was reportedly rushed to the hospital with minor injuries. Further, TriMet buses arrived at the scene to keep those evacuated out of the cold.

With the facility cleared, crews reportedly turned their focus back to extinguishing the blaze. Officials said the fire was so heavy that firefighters were ordered to withdraw and fight the flames from the exterior. Sometime after this, PF&R said the roof partially collapsed.

Crews reportedly got the fire under control just before 2:30 a.m.

 “First and foremost, I want to commend the heroism of the two on-site employees who risked their lives starting the initial evacuation of the residents under heavy fire conditions,” Fire Chief Sara Boone said. “When firefighters arrived their number priority was the immediate rescue of every resident within the facility under worsening fire conditions.  Because of their tactical decisions and valiant efforts so many lives were saved and turned near tragedy into an incredible success story.”

Portland Commissioner Jo Ann Hardesty also commended the crews’ efforts and said in part, “This had the potential to be a mass casualty event had it not been for the heroism of the care facility employees and Portland Fire & Rescue’s Fire Fighters, who together evacuated everyone in the building and prevented a horrible tragedy.”

Officials have not yet said what caused the fire. An investigation is underway.

Portland police, Clackamas County Fire, Gresham Fire, BOEC, Portland Police, TriMet, Red Cross, Portland General Electric and NW Natural Gas all reportedly helped PF&R.

KOIN 6 News reporter Emma Jerome contributed to this report.