CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) - A west Charlotte community is devastated now that a family of three is in the hospital after their apartment caught fire Sunday morning.
The three people, including two children, were taken to the hospital after the fire.
The fire started around 2 a.m. Sunday morning in the 4100 block of Rose Thorn Place.
It was a neighbor who put in the 911 call that led fire crews to Pressley Ridge Apartments
Investigators determined the fire was an accident that started from food that was left cooking on the stove.
More than 36 firefighters were sent to put out the flames and were able to control the fire in 20 minutes, officials say.
Neighbors said it felt like hours watching fire crews battle the flames.
Michelle Fields said she wishes she could unsee all the events that happened after the apartment that sits right across from her went up in flames.
"It's hard, it's heart breaking," Fields said.
It was another neighbor who called 911 about the fire and crews arrived within four minutes.
Fields says she was asleep when the fire started, but the smoke was so strong she thought it was her apartment that was filled with flames.
"My kitchen was full of smoke so I'm thinking I might have left a pot on or something," Fields said.
Instead, it was the unit across from hers, and inside that apartment was a mother and her two young boys who were trapped by the fire.
Fields says at the time none of it made sense, because she had just saw the mom just hours before in the parking lot of the complex. The two had made it home at the same time.
"I spoke to her and we went our separate ways. Her and the kids went in and then I came in," Fields said.
More than two dozen firefighters were there trying to put out the blaze and save the family of three.
Crews immediately started practicing CPR and other life-saving techniques on all three victims. That is something Fields says she can't shake from her memory.
There's no word on the names or the severity of injuries of the family involved.