The moment firefighters arrived they knew this was a situation that required a lot of manpower and machines to get the upper hand on the fire that reached four alarms.
The fire started in a vacant building on 2860 Valentine Avenue in the Norwood section. The fire eventually spread to two adjacent homes where multiple families were living.
Christine Sabater says she was amazed at how quickly the fire moved.
"It was spreading to the other house, and to the other house, and then the wires caught fire. It was crazy," says Sabater.
Everyone inside those two burning homes made it out, but most wearing only the clothes on their backs. Peaches Brown says she lost everything.
"I'm so frustrated. We don't save anything," said Brown.
It took 180 firefighters to get the flames under control, and eventually out.
5 firefighters were injured, and one was rolled away. The others were wounded, but were walking around. 3 residents also have minor injuries.
The Red Cross is helping displaced residents.