A 4-year-old was killed, and multiple people were hurt and displaced, in an apartment fire in Brunswick, fire officials said.
Crews started battling the large fire at the Hickory Hill Apartments on Beverly Hills Drive Monday night at around 10:30 p.m.
"I was asleep in bed (when) my son called me and said, 'Mom, get out of the building -- the building's on fire," neighbor Laura Ryan said. "(The building behind me) was totally in flames by the time I got out of the building."
On Tuesday morning, the fire department told newsnet5.com the 4-year-old girl was found dead inside a bedroom in the burned apartment.
"This has been a very tragic event for the families involved in this tragedy and also for the entire city of Brunswick," said Nick Solar, public information officer for the city, in a press conference Tuesday.
Units from 10 area fire departments and EMS agencies worked to contain the fire and brought it under control by midnight.
Barber said six other people were transported to various hospitals for smoke inhalation, and cuts and bruises. One man who was in the apartment at the time of the fire jumped from a third floor balcony to escape and was injured. He is expected to be OK. A firefighter was also treated for minor injuries after a portion of a ceiling collapsed.
Solar said a total of 24 apartments were affected by the fire. The fire impacted two buildings that are connected, with 12 apartments in each building.
The fire destroyed 12 apartment units at 4279 Beverly Hills Drive. Twelve attached units at 4281 Beverly Hills Drive were evacuated.
More than 50 people -- and a total of 24 families -- were displaced due to the fire, and Saint Ambrose Church and Red Cross are working together to provide immediate short-term relief and housing for victims.
"My apartment was in flames," said Theresa Brooks, who was displaced in the fire. "My pets are dead. Just everything was gone."
St. Ambrose Church is also collecting donations for those impacted and displaced by the fire. The church said clothing, bedding and blankets are needed. Donations can be dropped off at the church, located at 929 Pearl Road, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Authorities have not yet released the identity of the 4-year-old girl who died in the fire. They said her mother was taken to MetroHealth Medical Center for treatment.
Officials said the fire may have started on the ground floor outside of the building, but the official cause has not yet been determined. The building was constructed in the 1970s and does not have a sprinkler system. The apartment, however, does have smoke detectors.
With the state fire marshal now involved in the investigation, officials said they will continue to test equipment, and examine heating units and other electrical components, as the continue investigating.