"I looked out the window and saw people running out of the building next door to me. It's scary when you have to get your animals out. You don't know with all these buildings linked together, you don't know if one is going to go boom, boom, boom or not," says William Moreland, an apartment resident.
Police say the fire started in a basement work room.
"There were some freon tanks that were nearby, I'm not sure if that was the cause or not, it's a nonflammable gas. It was contained to the room, actually to a small area underneath some cabinets," says Mark Cleck, Battalion Chief with Hagerstown Fire Department.
Apartment resident, Erick Keplinger, says he didn't hear any smoke alarms; but once he got his family out, he grabbed a fire extinguisher and went to the basement.
"It was pretty cloudy, smoky in there, so I felt all the doors, then the last door on the right was kind of warm, so I just pushed it open a little bit and I could see flames. So I started hitting it with the fire extinguisher, and as soon as I did that, everything started to get black," adds Keplinger.
Keplinger says he was able to stay there for about a minute before he had to crawl out of the building.
"I put my hoodie across my face to breathe to get out. Then as I was running out, another gentleman was running down there also, and I told him I was getting out, because it was getting hard to breathe," says Keplinger.
The entire parking lot smelled like smoke.
"Black tar smoke," adds Moreland.
As families huddled outside thankful to be with their loved ones, the Fire Marshall says there were no injuries and just a small area in the basement room is damaged.
Authorities say the fire did not affect any of the apartments other than some traveling smoke. As of now, the cause of the fire is under investigation.