CHARLOTTE, NC (FOX 46 WJZY) - Fifteen families are homeless, all because of a lit cigarette.
The fire at the Woodbridge Apartments forced some families to jump out of their second floor windows to get to safety.
"I saw a lady jump from the balcony naked," said a mother of three.
Families got out any way they could. The fire consumed an entire apartment building on Yateswood Drive off Albemarle Road in East Charlotte Friday morning.
One dad told FOX 46 off camera he jumped from the second floor window and caught his wife and seven-month-old daughter.
Another neighbor rushed to knock on doors and windows to let everyone know, including a mother of three, that there was a fire.
"I will always be grateful for him," the mother said.
We’re told the fire started in an apartment on the first floor. The woman who lived right next door said she was at the hospital for a blood transfusion.
"I woke up and everyone was texting me saying 'are you ok, your apartment was burned down.' I rushed over and this is what I came to."
She says nearly everything was destroyed. Firefighters helped her and other neighbors salvage what they could, including pictures she can't replace.
"This is me and my little cousins. The pictures are still wet, but I still took them."
The fire displaced 39 people, killed one dog, and caused $260,000 dollars in damage. The Charlotte Fire Department reported that a cigarette that wasn't put out properly started the fire.
"Devastated to hear that it was a cigarette. Now, because of that person, I don't have a place to go to sleep, a place to live."