Five families were displaced and one man seriously burned in a fire that destroyed an apartment building in Berwick early Sunday morning.

Berwick Assistant Fire Chief Bruce Plante said that the fire broke out at about 3:48 a.m. in the first-floor unit of the three-floor building at 4 Berwick Road.

Plante said a puppy in the apartment knocked over a burning candle, which ignited a quilt and mattress and quickly spread.

A man who lived in the first-floor apartment where the fire started was seriously burned. He was taken to Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston. His identity was not immediately available. His injuries were not life-threatening, Plante said.

It took 75 firefighters from 17 fire departments 21/2 hours to extinguish the blaze.

Firefighters rescued a disabled deaf man from his second-floor apartment.

While the puppy was not injured, several cats and dogs were lost in the fire, Plante said.

The American Red Cross is helping relocate the 15 to 20 people displaced by the fire.

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