A fire burned two houses to the ground and badly damaged two others in the northwest neighbourhood of Kincora early Tuesday morning.

Crews were called to the 300 block of Kincora Drive N.W. at about 2 a.m. where they found two houses fully engulfed in flames.

Strong winds caused the blaze to spread to two other homes, fire officials said.

Everyone was able to get out of the houses safely, said Carol Henke, a spokesperson for the fire department.

She says the situation could have been worse.

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Crews remained on scene Tuesday morning putting out hot spots. (Allison Dempster/CBC)

"With the strong winds that fire crews had last night, it really is a wonder that this grassy area across the street didn't ignite due to all of the burning embers that were flying," she said. 

"As you can see, the homes are fairly close and with the wind, that radiant heat, it takes no time at all for that to spread very very quickly."

Fire officials say the first three houses are total write-offs. A fourth has significant smoke, water and fire damage.

Wendy Carino, whose brother's house was the fourth to go up in flames, said he woke up to a crackling sound and quickly got out. 

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Residents of 10 nearby houses were sheltered in city buses while crews battled the blaze. (Allison Dempster/CBC)

"He's handling it really well, but I don't think the shock has hit him yet," she said. "It's just stuff, right ... but I feel for the families."

Enmax and ATCO Gas were called to the scene to shut off utilities to the damaged homes.

Ten additional houses were evacuated while crews battled the fire. Residents were sheltered on city transit buses.

The fire was brought under control by late Tuesday morning, but crews remained on the scene putting out hot spots.

Investigators are trying to determine the cause of the fire. Anyone who has information, photos or video of the fire is asked to email piofire@calgary.ca.

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Strong winds caused the fire to spread from two houses to four, fire officials say. (Allison Dempster/CBC)