A three-alarm fire injured four people Sunday morning, including two firefighters.
It happened at the Metropolitan Apartment Complex on Lenox Road near the mall.
Thirty-five units were destroyed, many of which were occupied at the time of the fire.
The massive blaze set fire alarms off early, but people were slow to evacuate.
"They didn't take it serious because the alarms go off so much. I didn't take it serious at first either," said Paula Michelle, who lived in the building.
That quickly changed when residents saw the flames and huge plumes of black smoke.
"I went to the side and saw the flames just coming and coming and coming," said Michelle.
Tyonna Wilkerson was inside her apartment when the fire started.
"We couldn't see because it was just filled with smoke. We couldn't see so we ran downstairs and ran out," said Wilkerson.
But not everybody got out on their own.
"Honestly, I really don't know what happened. I was literally carried out of my apartment by firefighters and I was told my apartment was on fire," said resident Brooke Nicely.
And it wasn't until they were outside and safe that many residents realized just how massive and dangerous the fire was.
"It was just huge. I've never seen a fire that big in my life," said one resident.
"I didn't think it was going to get as intense as it is, but now our apartment is pretty much gone," said resident Curtis Williams.
More than 125 firefighters responded to the fire. One was treated for heat exhaustion; a second suffered second- to third-degree burns on the back of his neck.
"We don't think that there are going to be any major issues with burns because the area of his neck, but nevertheless we didn't want to take any chances so we transported him to hospital," said Chief Kelvin Cochran with the Atlanta Fire Department.
While investigators try to figure out what caused it, victims are just trying to get over the shock and figure out what they're going to do next.
"This is everything I have, this is real crazy. I never thought this would happen," said resident Joe Draughon.
Many residents said they feel lucky to be alive and happy to hear only one resident was treated at Grady while a second was treated at the scene for minor injuries. The resident taken to Grady was released by Sunday afternoon.
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Tuesday, April 20 2010 11:21 PM EDT2010-04-21 03:21:00 GMT
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