A number of homes in Toronto's Kensington Market were evacuated Thursday night after a roaring fire broke out in the eclectic neighbourhood.

Toronto police are now investigating the three-alarm blaze that erupted on Fitzroy Terrace around 8 p.m., near Kensington Street and Dundas Street West.

The fire ripped through a century-old home, threatening to spread to other old houses.

Nearly 100 firefighters fought for more than two hours to contain the massive blaze citing a lack of water in the area for the prolonged battle.

Two aerial units, as well as several ground units, were used.

Homes are packed tight in the congested neighbourhood, which prompted authorities to evacuate residents within a block of the cottage.

"We were just sitting in the courtyard, in the alley there, and then we just saw these flames coming from ... about two doors down, smoke and fire billowing out," one witness told CTV News.

No injuries were reported, and there is no word yet on what started the blaze.

Investigators haven't ruled out arson, but said preliminary evidence shows an electrical malfunction could have started the fire.

As investigators from the Toronto Fire Marshal's office probed the incident on Friday morning, some residents worried the Kensington fire was the work of an arsonist.

Over the summer, homes and property in several neighbourhoods across the city, such as Bloor West Village and Cabbagetown, were intentionally set ablaze.

With a report from CTV's Chris Eby