UPDATE: Morning apartment fire in Hixson ruled accidental
UPDATE: An apartment building goes up in flames trapping two people inside.
Nearly a dozen families are without their home at North River Village Apartments Thursday.
Just a couple hours ago, the fire was ruled accidental. The complex is on Hixson Pike.
It's a mixed-use building - units on the top, businesses on the lower level.
Firefighters rushed to the scene about 4:30 Thursday morning.
The fire started on the second floor of the building and while everyone did get out safe, firefighters had to rescue two people.
"Open up the front door and look outside and the whole front of the building is just caught on fire," said Alex Brown, Resident.
Alex brown just followed his gut feeling.
"When I saw the smoke coming out, my first instinct was just, Alex grab your phone and bang on your neighbors doors and just leave," said Alex Brown.
When he saw the fire closing in, he woke his neighbors.
"Alex was banging on the door, screaming. I jumped up and ran," said Chelsea Nelson.
Chelsea Nelson is on a visit from South Carolina and staying with her dad. She woke him and her 3-year-old girl.
"Like hurry up, grab the stuff, let's go. I didn't even realize what was happening," said Nelson.
But as most people were outside and safe, two other men couldn't escape.
"When I open the door, there is smoke coming into my room. So I wake up my roommate but we cannot get out. We are too late," said William Thein, Rescued from apartment
The fire blocked William Thein from leaving, so the firemen fought the flames and rescued the roommates.
"So I thank you for the firemen, yeah I appreciate it," said Thein.
"Yeah they saved my life, the firemen. So we are lucky, yeah," said Thein.
The red cross was on the scene just hours after the fire helping those displaced families find shelter.
Red cross set up a temporary shelter at the Hixson Rec Center.
The fire was ruled accidental, but the cause of the fire in still under investigation.
The Chattanooga Fire Department has ruled the cause of the fire to be accidental, the actual cause that sparked the blaze remain under investigation.
A third apartment fire within a week damages units and displaces at least 11 families in Hixson, in a mixed-use building at 5407 Hixson Pike.
A few businesses in the lower level of the North River Village apartments were also affected by the fire.
No one was hurt in the fire but Bruce Garner of the Chattanooga Fire Department told Channel 3 that two residents were trapped inside one apartment unit when firefighters answered the call around 4:30 Thursday morning.
Tun Myint and Win Thein in Apartment 201 attempted to go out their front door, but were blocked by the fire on the outside of the building. They yelled for help and two firefighters who were nearby responded.
Thein talked to Channel 3 about the early morning ordeal.
"When I opened the door, smoke was coming in my room. So I wake up my roommate and we cannot get out. We are too late. So firemen come to pick it up and take it away," Win Thein said.
Thein said the firefighters are heroes.
"Yeah they saved my life. We are lucky," Thein said.
Resident Alex Brown awoke to the fire department banging on his door. Brown said he grabbed his phone and ran outside to wake two of his neighbors.
"When I saw the smoke coming out my first instinct was just, 'Alex go inside get your phone and bang on your neighbors doors as hard as you can and just leave,'" he said. "But the smoke was so intense."
Garner said none of the apartment owners have renters insurance.
The American Red Cross opened a shelter at the Hixson Rec Center at 5401 School Drive for those displaced.
The cause of the fire is under investigation.