At least nine apartments sustained significant damage, but all the residents managed to get out safely, firefighters said.
Ricardo Hawkins said he was at work around 9 p.m. when his wife called to tell him about the fire.
He said he dropped everything, "but before I got home, they called me said, 'Slow down, no need to get hurt or get a ticket, because you lost everything.'"
The Red Cross worked to find the displaced families shelter for the night.
One firefighter was treated for dehydration at a local hospital. He's expected to be fine, firefighters said.
Hawkins said he thought the fire started when one of his neighbors fell asleep while cooking. Investigators would not confirm that and said they would be back on the scene on Saturday to look for clues to the cause of the fire.
Copyright 2022 by Capitol Broadcasting Company. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.