(NECN: Julie Loncich, Lawrence, Mass.) - It was a stubborn, quick moving fire that became an inferno.
"Cracking, falling, everything. Everything was black. It was just horrible," Kassandra Rodriguez said.
The Lawrence, Mass. fire started at 4 p.m. Saturday on Hancock Street. It's a date and time the three families who once called the houses "home" likely won't forget.
"We were just all downstairs and the girl next door came and told us the back of her house was on fire," Jodi Caraballo said.
Caraballo was home with her pregnant daughter and grandson. She says she acted instinctively.
"The first thing we did was try to run to the back of the yard and take the hose and at least protect some of our house, but by that time I was afraid something was going to explode so we wanted to just get out of the house," she said.
The fire chief says his men were actually fighting another fire when they saw the smoke and rushed to the scene. But there would be problems.
"We did have some additional issues with water supply," Lawrence Fire Chief Jack Bergeron said.
"My house was not on fire when the fire trucks first got here but evidently there was no water, or they couldn't get water," Caraballo said.
In the end, two homes stand no more, and the third will have to be torn down.
"Everybody that was is there is now out and that - that's all," Carabello said.