Yellow caution tape surrounds an apartment complex in Hickory after a fast-moving fire ripped through it late Sunday night.
One man had to jump out of a second-story window to escape.
The fire broke out shortly before 10 p.m. and spread so quickly that people who live there said they barely had time to get out.
Fire investigators believe it started in one of the upstairs units and then spread to the roof.
The man who lives in that apartment said he believes it started near a space heater that was next to his couch, and late Monday afternoon, firefighters confirmed that is one item they are checking out.
David Ussery said the fire blocked the door to his apartment, so he went out the window.
“I seen the flames, and it was the only thing I knew,” he said. “I always thought if anything happened to do it, and it was the only exit out.”
The Red Cross is helping families there either with a place to stay or finding clothing.
Firefighters estimate the damages at more than $50,000.