A Thanksgiving Day apartment fire has forced nine families out of their homes. It happened at the Ocoee Village Apartments in Cleveland Thursday afternoon.

The fire started in an apartment where a woman and her 5-year-old son lived. They were able to escape and alert the neighbors to get out, too. No one was hurt.

"We were cooking Thanksgiving dinner, looked out the window and there's a fire going on," said Pedro Izquierdo, who saw the flames shooting out of the building right across the street from his apartment.

He said his first instinct was trying to go help.

"Me being a Marine, I was gonna run over there," Izquierdo said. "But somebody told me everybody was already out, so I couldn't really do anything besides sit there and watch."

Firefighters said the fire started in the top-floor apartment unit and quickly spread to the attic.

Izquierdo, a dad of two toddler girls, said he felt helpless watching it burn.

"Fire was just coming out of that little boy's bedroom, flames shooting out," described James Hall, who lives in the building next door.

Although the fire was contained to one unit, nine families were displaced due to water and smoke damage. One of them lost everything.

"It's Christmas coming up now, and that poor family ain't got nothin' to look forward to," Hall said. "My heart goes out to them."

The cause of the fire is still under investigation. The Red Cross is helping the displaced families.