The blaze broke out just before 11am in a unit at the Remington Park Apartments on South Rice at Glenmont. It quickly burned through four apartments, leaving four others damaged by smoke and water.
The building has a common attic which also helped to feed oxygen to the fire. The cold temperatures made things even more uncomfortable for firefighters, but they managed to extinguish the blaze within an hour.
Looking at the damage, witnesses couldn't believe their eyes. Residents in neighboring buildings know they are fortunate.
"The whole top of the roof was smoking, and the next thing you know the flames lit the smoke," neighbor John Howard said. "It was just like somebody had poured gas on it and lit one end. It went 'whoosh' like that and started shooting up in twisty streams."
"I was the building next to it, so it was crazy," neighbor Jay Green said. "My roommate woke me up and was like, 'There's a fire; be careful.'"
Fortunately the time of day was favorable for a fire like this one. Most people were at work when it broke out, so no one needed to be rescued.
"Everyone's out; everyone's safe," resident Sonni Lam said. "There was a dog that kind of almost got lost, but other than that, everyone's safe."
No one was injured, and the cause was ruled as electrical and accidental, starting in the attic of the building.
The Red Cross is helping the eight families affected, all of whom will be given vacant apartments on the same property.
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