SOUTH SACRAMENTO -- There was a bright red glow over South Sacramento early Tuesday morning as firefighters battled flames tearing through an apartment complex on 50th Avenue.
"It started from the downstairs ... the downstairs neighbor apartment and went straight up," said Dyuana Butler.
Butler described the moments of panic when her brother and niece had to evacuate their burning home just after 4 a.m.
"He said he was asleep," Butler told FOX40. "He just was asleep and he said the alarm started going off. And he jumped up and by the time he jumped up and got to her then got the door open, he said all the flames was already coming up."
Firefighters said they were concerned when they first arrived on the scene because they did not see anyone standing outside of the apartment building. That led them to believe some people could have been trapped inside.
"Early morning fire, no one's outside and you have heavy fire coming from two apartment units," said Sacramento Fire Capt. Keith Wade. "Your concern is there's going to be victims. We're very fortunate there were no victims this morning."
More than 60 firefighters were able to put out the flames but not before at least four units were destroyed. Dozens of residents were forced out onto the streets in 30-degree weather.
"There are going to be displacements," Wade said. "People will have to work with other family members and then Red Cross to have some housing made available to them."
The people involved, however, said they were grateful no one was hurt because this story could have had a much different ending.
"So, luckily, the alarms worked for them to be notified," Butler said.
Investigators are still looking into the cause of the fire. They remained on scene for several hours to mop up any smoldering spots and try to figure out what sparked the flames.