GREENSBORO, N.C. -- Twenty people are out of their homes after a fire damaged a Greensboro apartment complex late Wednesday night.
Officials determined the blaze started as a grease fire while a resident was cooking.
Deputy Chief Todd Lynch said the resident has stepped away from the fire for a moment and when he came back the stove was on fire.
Chief Clarence Hunter says the resident extinguished the fire in their apartment, but it spread upward through the vents and into other units.
"This resident did smother the fire,he thought he had had it out but the damage had already happened," Lynch said.
Lynch said the eight units have both fire and flood damage. The flames spread through the inner wires within the walls.
Roof damage was visible and the strong stench of smoke was in the air Thursday morning.
Complex staff and seven Red Cross volunteers relocated displaced families to other units in the complex, providing cots, blankets and food.