Residents tell Eyewitness New they heard gunshots shortly before the fire broke out at the Canfield Apartments in the 13300 block of Northborough Drive at Rushcreek around 2am.
"We heard three gun shots, two or three of them, and didn't think much of it and went back to bed. But later our neighbors were trying to break the door down because the fire was almost at our door," said Stephanie Rodriguez, who escaped the blaze.
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Residents described a chaotic scene as people fled the fast moving flames.
"The heat was spreading on to other people's apartments, and neighbors were jumping off balconies. It was kind of scary," said resident Arnisia Lafleur.
It is unknown if all residents, who were inside the building at the time of the fire, have been accounted for.
Resident Charles James said, "This is basically a really bad fire. I mean, I got outside; the first thing you see is red. All I could think about was fire and just the smoke."
Three firefighters were treated for heat exhaustion. One was transported to the hospital. Fire officials say the structure sustained "significant" damage, with parts of it at risk of collapsing.
The American Red Cross is on scene to provide services and temporary shelter to residents displaced by the fire.
The cause of the fire is under investigation.