A major apartment fire in Jacksonville early Sunday morning has left more than 30 people homeless.
More than 100 firefighters were called to the Beacham Apartments on Broadhurst Road.
Cheyenne Rambo at first thought it was a robber when her door started rattling around 3:00 a.m. She quickly found out her apartment building was on fire. "There were flames engulfing everywhere. There was smoke, everyone was running, it was really intense," Rambo told WITN News.
The fire department says the fire started in one of the downstairs apartments and quickly spread to the other units.
For residents, at first it was panic, and then shock as they watched their belongings go up in smoke. "You could see it through the window, total ball of red flames, smoke rolling out of the apartment," says apartment maintenance supervisor George Dehaut.
Deputy fire chief Mike Koonce says eight of the 16 units in the building are a total loss, while the others are uninhabitable. The roof on one section of the building collapsed. "Not many of the apartments will be able to be occupied," says Koonce.
All available Jacksonville firefighters, including those off-duty, were called in to assist in battling the fire. Jacksonville also received help from Camp Lejeune and Verona firefighters.
Firefighters have the blaze under control and now are putting out hot spots.
Koonce says more than 32 people have been displaced by the fire and they do not have a cause yet at this time. There were no injuries.
The Red Cross is at the scene, assisting the fire victims.
There are two different Beacham Apartments complexes in Jacksonville. The Broadhurst Road location is just south of the Highway 24 intersection with U.S. 17, behind the Navy Federal Credit Union office.
Stay with WITN News and witn.com for more updates on this developing story.
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