Monday night, in the midst of flashing lights, there were prayers at the Royal Oaks Gardens apartments in Kannapolis. There were prayers for rebuilding.
"Everything, she lost everything," said Melody Hines, who said her sister lost her apartment in the Monday afternoon fire.
And despite the tragedy, there were prayers of thanks.
"My sister is a hero. She saved her family," said Hines.
Hines said her sister and four children were home when smoke and fire filled the downstairs and they were trapped.
Hines said her sister jumped out of the second-floor window, catching her children as they jumped after her. Eyewitness News was also told a maintenance employee at the apartment complex caught one of the children, as well.
"She loves her kids. She'd do anything for her kids," said Hines.
You could call it motherly instincts. But Hines said it was even more than that. She said that 15 years ago, her sister lost a 4-year-old daughter in a fire
"I'm thankful all the families are OK," said Sonja, who also lost her apartment.
Sonja said she was home with her daughter when maintenance came banging on the door, telling them to get out.
"I'm very thankful someone banged on the door," she said.
Her family lost everything as well.
Fire officials said when they arrived, the smoke and fire were intense. Soon after, the building became unsafe for crews so they had to fight from above.
Fire officials said approximately 35 firefighters and emergency workers arrived on the scene.
They said major injuries were not reported, but that some of the family members who had to jump had minor injuries. Hines said her sister hurt her back.
Firefighters will be on the scene throughout the night checking for hot spots of fire.
At this time, the cause of the fire is still under investigation.
The Red Cross is helping the families find a place to stay for the next few nights. It said it can always use donations to continue to help families like this.
The apartment complex said it is working to find new places at the complex for the families to move into.
The apartment complex managers agreed to connect the fire victims to people who would like to help them. For more information, call 704-933-2177.
Bethel Baptist Church Ministries, located on Dale Earnhardt Boulevard in Kannapolis, is also collecting items for the families. They are collecting clothes, gift cards, toiletries, household items, linens and other items. For more information, call 704-933-6600.