UNION CITY, Ga. (CBS46) — A fire at a Union City apartment complex Thursday forced families to run and jump for their lives, and now, at least seven families are homeless.
Union City fire officials say they were called to Summit Apartments around 8 a.m. Thursday and found building 700 engulfed in flames.
Two people were taken to the hospital after being cut by glass, suffering from smoke inhalation or being burned by flames while trying to escape.
"As I got here, the right side of that roof collapsed and so it was pretty horrific at that time," said Assistant Chief Jeffrey Collins with the Union City Fire Department.
Nequavion Haies says a loud noise woke he and his family up. "We heard a big boom like something exploded. The flames started spreading faster and we didn't know what was going on."
Haies tells us that he, his son, mother, and sibling had to literally jump from the flames.
"She opened the back door and we all got out the back," he said. "I jumped out first."
One woman, who does not want to be identified, says she and her kids were just getting up for the day when chaos erupted.
"We were just waking up, we were brushing our teeth. I didn't look outside but I started smelling heavy, like, real black smoke. Like, you could smell it."
She says they almost didn't make it out.
"As my kids were going to the front door, the hallway breeze collapsed on my oldest child and my middle child. It pushed me back in the house. My son has hair burns, as you can see, and my daughter, she has scrape marks on her arm and leg."
Firefighters tackled the path of devastation most of the day Thursday, which was the hottest day of the year so far.
"It was very, very hot. You can imagine with the temperature being near 100 this morning, today, and the conditions our firefighters had to go in and fight fire, everybody got that opportunity to see what we really do," Collins said.
The cause of the fire is still under investigation. Several affected families tell us the Red Cross is helping them find temporary housing.