by: Carl Willis Updated:
GWINNETT COUNTY, Ga. - Victims of an apartment fire in Gwinnett County spent Monday night sorting through the ashes and working to recover.
According to fire officials, 32 people were displaced after fire spread through an eight-unit, two-story building in The Falls apartment complex.
Cell phone video captured by a witness shows the fire spreading through units on the first and second floors.
Several people had to evacuate. Others returned home from work to find the destruction.
"We're saving as much as we can, as much as possible but right now it's just the most essential stuff," said one woman.
Witnesses said they were concerned that someone may have been inside, and that children were just returning from school when the fire reached its peak.
"It looked like the entire building could explode at any minute," said Domanique Day. "It was crazy.
Fire investigators didn't need much time to determine the cause, finding the answer within a few hours.
"The fire was accidentally set by combustible materials," said Lt. Colin Rhoden. "A cardboard box that was a little too close to the stove that started the fire."
Flames destroyed four units in the complex located off of Satellite Boulevard. Smoke damaged another four units.
Investigators found out the fire started on the first floor.
The Red Cross helped the displaced families with food, clothing and a place to sleep.
A total of 24 adults and eight children were affected.