It was just before 4:30 p.m. when flames ripped through building 5 of the Ivy Hill Apartments, located in the 1300 block of Chase Street.
Cleanup continued well into the night while firefighters searched for the cause of the blaze.
Red Cross officials say the fire destroyed several apartments and left at least 21 people homeless.
The agency provided assistance to eight families.
Jasmine Gomez, her husband and two children are among several residents who say they lost everything but their lives.
"We smelled the fire and all we heard was 'everybody get out!' We all ran out. We didn't have time to grab anything," Gomez said.
There were no reports of injuries.
So far, no word on what touched off the blaze.