LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (KTHV) - Firefighters worked throughout the early morning hours to put out a Little Rock apartment fire.
Officials told THV 11 that the Forest Place Apartments, which are located off North University, caught fire just after midnight Thursday.
The apartment complex consists of three 3-story apartment buildings and one of the buildings was ablaze when emergency crews arrived on scene. According to Captain Randy Hickmon with Little Rock Fire Department, investigators preliminarily believe the fire began in the trash compacting system located in the parking garage, but the definite cause should be known by the end of the day.
Capt. Hickmon said some of the building's smoke alarms did not sound as they were damaged in the fire.
Dauphine Holloway lives in one of the apartments in that building and said the fire started on the third floor.
"When I looked out, I saw flames over the building and all of us was trying to get out," Holloway said. "We opened the door and they cut the lights out and it was so dark and the smoke was so thick, we had to close the door. So I went to my balcony and started flashing my cell phone for the fire department so they could get us out of there."
Robin Hall was laying tile in the laundry room, which is located in the basement, when she heard the sirens.
"We started looking around and this old man on the third floor and he was confused and he was like 'I don't know what's going on' and we could see the black smoke behind his head, like rolling out of his apartment" Hall explained. "And the fire department came and put the ladder up and within five minutes his apartment was engulfed in flames."
Hall went on to say she watched as the firefighters helped that man and many other elderly residents climb down the ladder to safety.
Capt. Hickmon told THV 11 News that there were no injuries, though some residents were treated by MEMS for smoke inhalation.
Additionally, Hickmon said the fire caused $4 million in structure damage and $600,000 in content damage.
Bridget Williams with the Arkansas Red Cross said they have a shelter set up at Calvary Baptist Church at 5700 Cantrell Road. She said 130 people were affected by the fire and they have 30 people at the shelter.
Stay with THV 11 and thv11.com for more details as they develop.
Residents displaced after fire destroys 34 apartment units