RURAL HALL, N.C. -- One person was injured and 16 people are displaced following a fire at a Rural Hall apartment complex.
Forsyth County deputies say they first noticed the fire around noon at the Woodbriar Apartments, which are located behind the Rural Hall Town Hall.
“We was sitting on the front porch and we seen a cloud of smoke come from behind the building,” said Tammy Lynn Phillips, who lives in the affected building.
Some of Phillips’ neighbors were unaware there was a fire until deputies started going door-to-door.
“When they came banging on the door I started panicking, because they was panicking, telling all of us to get out, that there was a fire,” said Amber Martin, who escaped with her 4-year-old son.
Martin’s son was treated for possible smoke inhalation at the scene.
“He’s already coughing, I was coughing just coming down the steps,” she said.
Some people, Martin included, were seen walking around in nothing but socks as firefighters worked to put out the flames.
“The flames, it just looked like one big chimney,” she said.
Others were seen wearing robes and pajamas, having been unable to grab any clothing as the smoke engulfed their apartments.
“It was scary, didn’t know if something was gonna blow up,” Phillips said.
Firefighters were seen putting out hotspots more than an hour after the fire started.
“It’s traumatic for sure, especially with him because I don’t think he’s ever seen this many fire trucks, and everybody, and the commotion and everything,” Martin said, of her son.
Investigators believe the fire was accidental and caused by an electrical malfunction.
“We’re blessed to be alive, not hurt,” Phillips said, with her arms around her young daughter.
The person who was taken to the hospital has since been released.