Fayetteville investigators said the fire started in a second floor unit of the Ponderosa apartments, near the intersection of Santa Fe Drive and Yadkin Road around 2:15 p.m.
The fire was so intense, it caused the second floor to cave in to the first floor, destroying eight units.It took crews several hours to put out the blaze.
No one was injured, but a firefighter was treated for exhaustion.
The apartment complex is home to many military families, including deployed soldiers and their families.
The Red Cross is providing shelter to those who need it.