Three units in the apartment home were completely destroyed and a 3-year-old child is dead. Witnesses say the smoke and flames seemed to overtake this apartment building.
"The smoke was so thick bellowing out of the windows and doors,” said one witness. “The fire spread quickly.”
Neighbor Quigley Morris heard screaming – that is how he knew something bad was going on.
When he arrived at the apartment, the building was already nearly engulfed.
"When they told me a kid was in there, I said, ‘We have to do something!’”
Morris says he saw a father, mother and an infant already out of the house. They were screaming for their daughter who was still inside. He says he and other neighbors tried to get into the home, but the smoke and flames made it too dangerous.
"That is the most difficult thing I have ever done in my life,” Morris said. “To just stand back and listen to the mother cry and know there is a kid in there.”
Witnesses say the family tried to get the little girl to come to the window, but they couldn't. Everyone else – seven other people – were able to get out without injury.
When firefighters arrived, the father, mother and infant were taken to the hospital and crews began to put out the fire.
“Everywhere,” said Fire Chief Bruce Stover. “All the windows, coming out of the windows. 30-foot flames in the sky. We couldn't go in. We wanted to go in, but we couldn't go in. There was nothing we could do to get in and search for the child early.”
Some people who lived inside say they heard an explosion and saw glass breaking before they escaped the burning building.
One says he awoke to see his ceiling caving in.
"I just got my dog and my wallet and by the time I am looking for my phone, smoke is in the apartment,” he said. “Next thing you know, the house is gone."
Firefighters say the house is a total loss...but this loss is nothing compared to what a family is no doubt going through now.
"We are praying," said neighbor Rhodel Kabah. "We are doing the only thing we know how to do. Just pray.”
We will provide updates as they become available.