Dozens lose homes in apartment complex fire

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TOLEDO (WTVG) - Billowing clouds of black smoke could be seen for miles. Up close people watched in shock as part of a Toledo apartment complex burned to the ground.

"It was very traumatizing," Maurice Robinson, a resident said.

An intense multiple alarm fire swept quickly through three buildings at the Andover Apartments on Eastgate Road in Toledo late Thursday. The buildings were destroyed.

Dozens of firefighters responded to the blaze which displaced residents of 35 units.

"We train for this. Our firefighters are ready. It is exhausting working in the heat and the wind was a big factor. It moved the fire very quickly," Pvt. Sterling Rahe, Toledo Fire and Rescue Department told 13abc.

Samantha Avaritt shared an apartment with her mother. Thursday, she sat helpless, watching her second story home burn.

"Thinking of all the photographs in there that you're not going to get back and all of the things I've collected over time," she said. "I'm going through a range of emotions. I can't take my eyes off of it, it's so intense."

Toledo Police blocked traffic on Eastgate Road at Heatherdowns Boulevard and Keygate Drive as the fire burned for more than three hours. The buildings were fully involved when emergency responders arrived. There is no immediate word on the possible cause.

The Red Cross responded to provide help to victims.

"We'll make sure everyone is taken care of. . . and their immediate needs," according to Red Cross representative Julie Malkin.

Witness Maurice Robinson told 13abc that, "I hope people from the city help them out because we're supposed to help each other out."

St. Patrick of Heatherdowns Holy Family Center was set up as an aid station for anyone affected by the fire. The Red Cross has also set up a shelter for those families who don't have anywhere to go. It's at the Wolf Creek YMCA, 2100 S. Holland-Sylvania.