One person was taken to hospital and a young family is homeless after narrowly escaping a fire that destroyed their Lawrencetown duplex on Thursday morning.

Halifax Regional Fire crews were called to the corner of Lakeshore Drive and Crowell Road at around 5:30 a.m. and spent hours battling the flames.

The fire burned so hot, glass inside the home started popping. The smoke billowed over the neighbourhood, hanging over Porters Lake.

Karen Annand, a neighbour, said she was sleeping with the window open when she smelled smoke.

"I could smell something so I got up and I looked out the window and the front part of the house was in flames," she said.

When she looked outside a woman was standing in the yard with no shoes on.

A family with two young children and a woman lived in the two units. Everyone escaped, but one person was taken to hospital. It's not known what condition that person is in.

"They had fire on one side of the house that was fully involved and everybody got out at that time," said Division Commander Dave Slaunwhite.

The duplex is destroyed. The roof and two walls are gone.

Officials still don't know what caused the fire, but said it's not suspicious.