Tuesday, April 20 2010 11:21 PM EDT2010-04-21 03:21:00 GMT
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CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) - Firefighters say a burning candle left attended is to blame for a massive fire at a Charlotte apartment complex Wednesday.
"It looked like somebody poured gas on it", said Sylvester Alexander. "I lost everything, I don't have anything but what I have on."
Sylvester lived in the bottom floor unit, he believes there's nothing left.
A phone call brought Charlotte Firefighters to the Birchcroft Apartments on Central Avenue in east Charlotte around 3am Wednesday.
When they saw the orange glow, they quickly pulled a second, and then a third alarm.
Massive flames were seen shooting through the roof, at one point, many residents feared all 13 apartments located in the structure were gone.
Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police told WBTV that seven of the apartments were able to be saved, but there is heavy smoke damage to all of the units.
Crews surrounded the building, and began pouring hundreds of gallons of water on it trying to beat back the flames.
Residents were evacuated and accounted for. No one was hurt.
The reason the building was saved is twofold. Firefighters said they were able to get water on the flames very quickly, and also the firewall built into the apartment help keep the fire from spreading.
Maureen DaSilva was working overnight and heard about the fire on the news
"They announced the fire at the Birchcroft apartments, I say 'that's my complex'," said DaSilva.
DaSilva's apartment had smoke and water damage.
Central Avenue was closed while fire crews did their work, but is back open.
The Red Cross was called in to help the residents cope with what happened, and help them find a place to live.
Right now, there's no word on why this started. Investigators hope to find the cause buried in the rubble sometime today.