(Memphis) Several families are without home after a large apartment fire in South Memphis.
The fire broke out at the Havana apartments, located in the 1500 block of Havana Street, Wednesday afternoon.
The Red Cross is helping them after a devastating scene – families running from the homes with only the clothes on their backs while a fire destroyed their homes.
Families could only watch as fire reduced their apartments to rubble.
The heartache of the fire was seen all over a little boy’s face whose eyes filled with tears as firefighters tossed out charred items from his home.
His mom says he and his sister were sound asleep when the fire started at a unit next door.
“I seen the smoke coming through my front door because I was sitting in my living room,” Glory Martin said.
Martin grabbed her kids; there wasn’t even time to put on their shoes.
Firefighters said once the fire was in the attic, it spread across the top floor, destroying eight units.
All Martin could save was a photo of her kids.
“It was burning so bad,” Regina Ewing said.
She lives on the bottom floor and her grandson was playing outside when he saw the flames.
“I went and got my grandma and said the house is on fire so get out,” he told WREG.
“My grandson came in and told me, ‘Grandma, the house is on fire something’s burning upstairs.’ I went to the backdoor and saw nothing but fire and smoke,” Ewing said.
All of the residents made it out of their units unharmed, but more than 20 people are displaced.
“This building not anyone will be able to stay in it tonight,” one firefighter told the crowd.
Firefighters told the families help was on the way from the America Red Cross.
“We can get you at least a room for the night.”
“Thank God because I don’t have anywhere to go,” Ewing said.
While most of what can be salvaged from their units fits only in boxes, everyone was thankful they at least have their lives.
Fire investigators have not yet determined the cause of the fire.