Firefighters battled for hours in the summer heat to put out a fire that destroyed two apartment buildings and left nearly two dozen people homeless in Manchester, New Hampshire.
Second Street has reopened after being shut down most of the day Sunday, but the smell of charred wood and materials still lingered at night.
"The smoke was really black and high," said Kathy Baylis. "You could see it all the way to the other side of Manchester."
The fire started in the back of 178 Second St. It jumped next door within minutes.
Everyone managed to get out of the burning buildings unharmed as firefighters worked about four hours to put out the flames.
"It's amazing how quickly it spreads," said Manchester Fire Chief Hank Marineau.
In all, 22 people are without a home. Those who live in buildings on either side of the fire also had to escape.
"My brother came in, he told me to get out right away," said Daniel Demos.
The windows on Demos' apartment are cracked. Anything plastic or aluminum began to melt from the intense heat.
"We could feel it across the street," said Baylis. "That's how hot it was."
The Summer heat didn't help firefighters. One firefighter was taken to the hospital for signs of heat exhaustion. Two others were treated and released at the scene from minor burns.
The chief says a cigarette that wasn't completely put out is what they believe caused the fire.
The American Red Cross is assisting some of the displaced residents.