Fire leaves close to 70 people homeless

Fire leaves close to 70 people homeless
PENDELTON, Ore. -- It's been 24 hours since swept through this apartment complex causing people to run for their lives.

"It was mass chaos. There was people running, screaming," said resident Bo Lewis. His roommate, Dana Kopp added, "Yeah there were yelling at us get out of your apartment, there's a fire." Bo continued, "Everybody's going around banging on doors."

The complex is still burning. Crews are sifting through what's left. As they try to figure out how this happened they continue to put out the hot spots.

Residents say they had little time to escape. They say they had about two minutes to get out before the flames swept into their building.

Witnesses say the fire started on the hillside and quickly spread up attacking the apartments where the surrounding brush went up like a dry Christmas tree.

Kristy Neubo owns the property and said, "Well there's 16 units that were totally lost. We've got another 8 that possibly have some damage. These people lost everything very few of them had renter's insurance so they're going to need a lot of help."

She is now working to get families into vacant units as soon as possible. Surrounding apartment complexes are also pitching in to give displaced residents new, permanent homes.

"We care, we care a lot about these people. The first thing was did everybody get out safe and did every body's pets get out safe. That was the main thing," Kristy Neubo said.

Residents like Bo Lewis and Dana Kopp couldn't agree more. They're anxious to collect what's left but doubt if it's worth going back in.

"I don't anything will last," Dana said. For now having their lives is what matters most. "It's a reason for a new beginning," she added.

She's putting a positive spin on a terrible tragedy.

Police officers are currently gathering evidence from the scene. They say it could take weeks before they find out what caused the fire.

Meanwhile the owners of the property say they will rebuild but it could take a year before residents could move back in.