23 families displaced after Friday night fire in Matthews

by: Tina Terry Updated:

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MATTHEWS, N.C. —

Twenty-three families spent Saturday picking up the pieces after a massive fire at their apartment Friday night.

Eyewitness News was first on the scene when that fire started around 8:30 p.m. 

When a crew arrived, flames were shooting out of the roof and sides of one apartment building at the Berkshires at Matthews Apartment Complex on Chambers Drive in Matthews. 

Resident Will Chuss said Saturday that he lost everything. 

"All of my memories from raising my son. Photos report cards. I’m pretty sure all of those are gone," he said.

Chuss and his son were on a road trip when they heard the news. He said he turned the car around and drove seven hours to get back home.

"So the whole time I was pretty much freaking out wondering what was going to be there wondering about our cats,” Chuss said.

He said his apartment was a total loss and his cats died in the fire.  His home was on the second floor right above the first-floor apartment where officials said the fire started in a kitchen.

Some residents told Channel 9 they only had smoke and water damage. Those residents were escorted into the complex to get essentials like clothing Saturday, but they told Eyewitness News it could be weeks before they could go back into their homes to get other things.

The apartment manager told Eyewitness News they were working with the 23 families and trying to find other apartments for them to stay in.  The American Red Cross was also providing food and clothing Saturday. 

Neighbors said the two people injured after jumping from the third floor were a couple.  Channel 9 checked with officials to find out their conditions, but hadn't heard back Saturday night.