Authorities were called to the Chinese Consulate in the 3400 block of Montrose Boulevard around 1:30 p.m.
According to officials, the small fire started on the fifth floor of the building.
"It looks like we're in the middle of Beirut or something. It's kind of crazy. It looks like everybody is OK. I don't see anyone in ambulances," nearby business owner Steve Zimmerman said.
Firefighters said as many as a dozen people live on the floor that caught fire. All of them got out safely. The fire was contained to one room, but smoke and water damage could be seen throughout the building.
Checking all floors for fire and damage was a challenge for crews, given the diplomatic nature of the facility.
"There were some issues obviously due to security and we had a number of people that wanted to stay in the building, so there were some issues in trying to get people out," Deputy Chief Blake White said. "They seemed to be concerned with certain areas of the building."
The close to 80 firefighters down Montrose Boulevard was certainly alarming for many neighbors.
"Montrose is real quiet on Sundays," added Zimmerman.
While there is damage to clean up, they are glad no one was hurt.
Arson investigators are looking in to the cause of the fire.
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